WorldWideScience

Sample records for humans improved evaluation

  1. Methods of Human Resource Management Evaluation and Directions for Their Improvement in Large Enterprises of Latvia

    OpenAIRE

    Peiseniece, Līga

    2011-01-01

    The goal of the dissertation „Methods of Human Resource Management Evaluation and Directions for Their Improvement in Large Enterprises of Latvia” is to establish new methods for efficiency evaluation of human resource management to improve processes of human resource management in large enterprises of Latvia. The first chapter covers the nature and methods of evaluation of human resource management. The necessity of evaluation of human resource management has been based ...

  2. Formal Process Modeling to Improve Human Decision-Making in Test and Evaluation Acoustic Range Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to present problems faced by undersea test ranges in the area of human decision-making and the lack of pre-test...noted that Range Officer training focuses on recognizing and understanding normal and expected conditions for the particular test and on using...These factors place increased burden on the test facility to conduct accurate and successful tests that produce the intended test conditions , which

  3. Earth Observation Data for Mapping and Evaluation of Ecosystem Services to Improve Human Livelihoods and Conserve Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Aurelie C.; Bhagabati, Nirmal

    2010-12-01

    Mapping and evaluating ecosystem services is of increasing concern and urgency for conservation organizations such as WWF. Coupling biodiversity assessments with ecosystem services e.g., carbon sequestration, water regulation, sediment reduction, is an effective way to visualize additional financial and human benefits of conservation for decision makers. WWF is eager to apply various Earth Observation data to conservation applications for consistent mapping and monitoring of natural ecosystems and the potential impacts of their loss on humans and wildlife alike. Such examples include forest carbon mapping, integrated evaluation of ecosystem services (via the InVEST tool) and bundling endangered Tiger habitat with various ecosystem services for bundled benefits.

  4. An Evaluation of the Cybersecurity Policies for the United States Health & Human Services Department: Criteria, Regulations, and Improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Mohammed

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the criteria necessary for the evaluation of the cybersecurity policies for the United States Health and Human Services Department of the Federal Government. The overall purpose of cybersecurity policies and procedures is supported through compliance with Federal mandated regulation and standards, which serve to protect the organizational services and goals of the United States Health and Human Services Department, and to promote the best possible security practices in the protection of information systems from unauthorized actors and cyber-threats. The criteria of the cybersecurity evaluation is identified and analyzed for quality, strengths, weaknesses, and future applicability. Topics within the criteria include organizational operation, regulations and industrial standards compliance, service delivery to national customers, and the prevention and mitigation of IT system and security failure. This analysis determines the strengths and weaknesses, and makes recommendations for revising the cybersecurity policies within the United States Health and Human Services Department.

  5. Human factors evaluation of remote afterloading brachytherapy: Human error and critical tasks in remote afterloading brachytherapy and approaches for improved system performance. Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callan, J.R.; Kelly, R.T.; Quinn, M.L. [Pacific Science and Engineering Group, San Diego, CA (United States)] [and others

    1995-05-01

    Remote Afterloading Brachytherapy (RAB) is a medical process used in the treatment of cancer. RAB uses a computer-controlled device to remotely insert and remove radioactive sources close to a target (or tumor) in the body. Some RAB problems affecting the radiation dose to the patient have been reported and attributed to human error. To determine the root cause of human error in the RAB system, a human factors team visited 23 RAB treatment sites in the US The team observed RAB treatment planning and delivery, interviewed RAB personnel, and performed walk-throughs, during which staff demonstrated the procedures and practices used in performing RAB tasks. Factors leading to human error in the RAB system were identified. The impact of those factors on the performance of RAB was then evaluated and prioritized in terms of safety significance. Finally, the project identified and evaluated alternative approaches for resolving the safety significant problems related to human error.

  6. Evaluation of the potential of phase-contrast computed tomography for improved visualization of cancerous human liver tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Peter B; Herzen, Julia; Fingerle, Alexander A; Willner, Marian; Stockmar, Marco K; Hahn, Dieter; Settles, Marcus; Drecoll, Enken; Zanette, Irene; Weitkamp, Timm; Rummeny, Ernst J; Pfeiffer, Franz

    2013-09-01

    Phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography (PCCT) is currently investigated and developed as a potentially very interesting extension of conventional CT, and can offer several advantages for specific indications in diagnostic imaging. Current absorption-based computed tomography (CT) without the application of contrast material is limited in the detection of minor density differences in soft-tissue. The purpose of this study is to test whether PCCT can improve soft tissue contrast in healthy and tumorous human liver specimens. Two specimens of human liver (one healthy and one metastasized liver sample) were imaged with brilliant X-ray beam at the synchrotron radiation source ESRF in Grenoble, France. For correlation the same specimens were imaged with a magnetic resonance imaging system at 1.5 T. The histopathology confirmed our findings in the corresponding sections of the specimens. In the phase-contrast CT images we observed a significantly enhanced soft-tissue contrast when compared to simultaneously recorded standard absorption CT measurements. Further, we found that the pathological and morphological information in the PCCT reconstructions show significant improvement when compared to those performed on MRI. Based on matching of prominent features, a good correlation between PCCT and the histological section is demonstrated; especially the tumor capsule and the surrounding vascular structures are visible in PCCT. In addition, our study revealed the ability of PCCT to visualize the blood vessels structure in the tumorous liver without the need of any contrast agents. Grating-based PCCT significantly improves the soft-tissue contrast in ex-vivo liver specimens and holds the potential to overcome the need of contrast materials for visualization of the tumor vascularization. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  7. Evaluating human resource interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joha Louw-Potgieter

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: Programme evaluation is a transdiscipline, which examines whether a programme has merit or not. A programme is a coherent set of activities aimed at bringing about a change in people or their circumstances.Research purpose: The purpose of this special edition is to introduce readers to the evaluation of human resource (HR programmes.Motivation for the study: There are few comprehensive evaluations of HR programmes despite many publications on functional efficiency measures of HR (i.e. measures of cost, time, quantity, error and quality.Research design, approach and method: This article provides a value chain for HR activities and introduces the reader to programme theory-driven evaluation.Main findings: In summarising all of the contributions in this edition, one of the main findings was the lack of programme evaluation experience within HR functions and the difficulty this posed for the evaluators.Practical/managerial implications: This introductory article presents answers to two simple questions: What does HR do? and, What is programme evaluation? These answers will enable practitioners to understand what programme evaluators mean when we say that programme evaluation seeks to determine the merit of a programme.Contribution/value-add: The main contribution of this introductory article is to set the scene for the HR evaluations that follow. It alerts the reader to the rich theory contribution in HR literature and how to apply this in a theory-driven evaluation.

  8. Automatic Mapping Extraction from Multiecho T2-Star Weighted Magnetic Resonance Images for Improving Morphological Evaluations in Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaode Yu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mapping extraction is useful in medical image analysis. Similarity coefficient mapping (SCM replaced signal response to time course in tissue similarity mapping with signal response to TE changes in multiecho T2-star weighted magnetic resonance imaging without contrast agent. Since different tissues are with different sensitivities to reference signals, a new algorithm is proposed by adding a sensitivity index to SCM. It generates two mappings. One measures relative signal strength (SSM and the other depicts fluctuation magnitude (FMM. Meanwhile, the new method is adaptive to generate a proper reference signal by maximizing the sum of contrast index (CI from SSM and FMM without manual delineation. Based on four groups of images from multiecho T2-star weighted magnetic resonance imaging, the capacity of SSM and FMM in enhancing image contrast and morphological evaluation is validated. Average contrast improvement index (CII of SSM is 1.57, 1.38, 1.34, and 1.41. Average CII of FMM is 2.42, 2.30, 2.24, and 2.35. Visual analysis of regions of interest demonstrates that SSM and FMM show better morphological structures than original images, T2-star mapping and SCM. These extracted mappings can be further applied in information fusion, signal investigation, and tissue segmentation.

  9. Can Teacher Evaluation Improve Teaching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Principal Leadership, 2013

    2013-01-01

    The answer to the question, Can evaluation improve teaching? is a qualified yes. Teacher evaluation has changed and the role of the principal has changed as well; the focus now is on evidence, not merely good judgment. With the right tools, systems, and support, it should be possible to help improve teaching performance and student learning…

  10. Aged human bone marrow stromal cells maintaining bone forming capacity in vivo evaluated using an improved method of visualization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stenderup, Karin; Rosada, Cecilia; Justesen, J

    2004-01-01

    weeks, the implants were removed and embedded un-decalcified in methyl methacrylate (MMA). Sections were stained histochemically with Goldner's Trichrome stain and immuno-histochemically using human-specific antibodies against known osteogenic markers. Implanted human marrow stromal cells (hMSC) were...

  11. Improvement and Evaluation of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Rapid Detection of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Human Blood Samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi-Meng Sun

    Full Text Available Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP, an attractive DNA amplification method, was developed as a valuable tool for the rapid detection of Toxoplasma gondii. In this study, species-specific LAMP primers were designed by targeting the AF146527 sequence, which was a conserved sequence of 200- to 300-fold repetitive 529 bp fragment of T.gondii. LAMP reaction system was optimized so that it could detect the minimal DNA sample such as a single tachyzoite or 10 copies of recombinant plasmid. No cross-reactivity was found when using DNA from other parasites as templates. Subsequently, a total of 200 human blood samples were directly investigated by two diagnostic methods, LAMP and conventional PCR. Fourteen of 200 (7% samples were positive for Toxoplasma by LAMP (the primers developed in this study, whereas only 5 of 200 (2.5% were proved positive by conventional PCR. The procedure of the LAMP assay was very simple, as the reaction would be carried out in a single tube under isothermal conditions at 64°C and the result would be read out with 1 h (as early as 35 min with loop primers. Thus, this method has the advantages of rapid amplification, simple operation, and easy detection and would be useful for rapid and reliable clinical diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis, especially in developing countries.

  12. Gastric emptying of solids in humans: improved evaluation by Kaplan-Meier plots, with special reference to obesity and gender

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grybaeck, P. [Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden); Naeslund, E. [Department of Surgery, Karolinska Institute at Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden); Hellstroem, P.M. [Department of Internal Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden); Jacobsson, H. [Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden)]|[Department of Nuclear Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden); Backman, L. [Department of Surgery, Karolinska Institute at Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm (Sweden)

    1996-12-01

    It has been suggested that obesity is associated with an altered rate of gastric emptying, and that there are also sex differences in gastric emptying. The results of earlier studies examining gastric emptying rates in obesity and in males and females have proved inconsistent. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of obesity and gender on gastric emptying, by extending conventional evaluation methods with Kaplan-Meier plots, in order to assess whether these factors have to be accounted for when interpreting results of scintigraphic gastric emptying tests. Twenty-one normal-weight volunteers and nine obese subjects were fed a standardised technetium-99m labelled albumin omelette. Imaging data were acquired at 5- and 10-min intervals in both posterior and anterior projections with the subjects in the sitting position. The half-emptying time, analysed by Kaplan-Meier plot (log-rank test), were shorter in obese subjects compared to normal-weight subjects and later in females compared to males. Also, the lag-phase and half-emptying time were shorter in obese females than in normal females. This study shows an association between different gastric emptying rates and obesity and gender. Therefore, body mass index and gender have to be accounted for when interpreting results of scintigraphic gastric emptying studies. (orig.). With 6 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. Evaluating the Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Howard

    2013-01-01

    How can one measure the value of teaching the humanities? The problem of assessment and accountability is prominent today, of course, in secondary and higher education. It is perhaps even more acute for those who teach the humanities in nontraditional settings, such as medical and other professional schools. The public assumes that academes can…

  14. Improved in vitro evaluation of novel antimicrobials: potential synergy between human plasma and antibacterial peptidomimetics, AMPs and antibiotics against human pathogenic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citterio, Linda; Franzyk, Henrik; Palarasah, Yaseelan; Andersen, Thomas Emil; Mateiu, Ramona Valentina; Gram, Lone

    2016-01-01

    Stable peptidomimetics mimicking natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have emerged as a promising class of potential novel antibiotics. In the present study, we aimed at determining whether the antibacterial activity of two α-peptide/β-peptoid peptidomimetics against a range of bacterial pathogens was affected by conditions mimicking in vivo settings. Their activity was enhanced to an unexpected degree in the presence of human blood plasma for thirteen pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. MIC values typically decreased 2- to 16-fold in the presence of a human plasma concentration that alone did not damage the cell membrane. Hence, MIC and MBC data collected in these settings appear to represent a more appropriate basis for in vivo experiments preceding clinical trials. In fact, concentrations of peptidomimetics and peptide antibiotics (e.g. polymyxin B) required for in vivo treatments might be lower than traditionally deduced from MICs determined in laboratory media. Thus, antibiotics previously considered too toxic could be developed into usable last-resort drugs, due to ensuing lowered risk of side effects. In contrast, the activity of the compounds was significantly decreased in heat-inactivated plasma. We hypothesize that synergistic interactions with complement proteins and/or clotting factors most likely are involved. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Human Factors Evaluation Mentor Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — To obtain valid and reliable data, Human Factors Engineering (HFE) evaluations are currently conducted by people with specialized training and experience in HF. HFE...

  16. Eating soya improves human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    File, S E; Jarrett, N; Fluck, E; Duffy, R; Casey, K; Wiseman, H

    2001-10-01

    Soya foods are rich in isoflavone phytoestrogens with weak agonist activity at oestrogen receptors. Oestrogen treatment has been found to improve memory in men awaiting gender reassignment and in post-menopausal women. To examine the effects of supervised high versus low soya diets on attention, memory and frontal lobe function in young healthy adults of both sexes. Student volunteers were randomly allocated to receive, under supervision, a high soya (100 mg total isoflavones/day) or a low soya (0.5 mg total isoflavones/day) diet for 10 weeks. They received a battery of cognitive tests at baseline and then after 10 weeks of diet. Those receiving the high soya diet showed significant improvements in short-term (immediate recall of prose and 4-s delayed matching to sample of patterns) and long-term memory (picture recall after 20 min) and in mental flexibility (rule shifting and reversal). These improvements were found in males and females. In a letter fluency test and in a test of planning (Stockings of Cambridge), the high soya diet improved performance only in females. There was no effect of diet on tests of attention or in a category generation task. Those on the high soya diet rated themselves as more restrained and, after the tests of memory and attention, they became less tense than did those on the control diet. Significant cognitive improvements can arise from a relatively brief dietary intervention, and the improvements from a high soya diet are not restricted to women or to verbal tasks.

  17. Evaluations of training programs to improve human resource capacity for HIV, malaria, and TB control: a systematic scoping review of methods applied and outcomes assessed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shishi; Roychowdhury, Imara; Khan, Mishal

    2017-01-01

    Owing to the global health workforce crisis, more funding has been invested in strengthening human resources for health, particularly for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria control; however, little is known about how these investments in training are evaluated. This paper examines how frequently HIV, malaria, and TB healthcare provider training programs have been scientifically evaluated, synthesizes information on the methods and outcome indicators used, and identifies evidence gaps for future evaluations to address. We conducted a systematic scoping review of publications evaluating postgraduate training programs, including in-service training programs, for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria healthcare providers between 2000 and 2016. Using broad inclusion criteria, we searched three electronic databases and additional gray literature sources. After independent screening by two authors, data about the year, location, methodology, and outcomes assessed was extracted from eligible training program evaluation studies. Training outcomes evaluated were categorized into four levels (reaction, learning, behavior, and results) based on the Kirkpatrick model. Of 1473 unique publications identified, 87 were eligible for inclusion in the analysis. The number of published articles increased after 2006, with most (n = 57, 66%) conducted in African countries. The majority of training evaluations (n = 44, 51%) were based on HIV with fewer studies focused on malaria (n = 28, 32%) and TB (n = 23, 26%) related training. We found that quantitative survey of trainees was the most commonly used evaluation method (n = 29, 33%) and the most commonly assessed outcomes were knowledge acquisition (learning) of trainees (n = 44, 51%) and organizational impacts of the training programs (38, 44%). Behavior change and trainees' reaction to the training were evaluated less frequently and using less robust methods; costs of training were also rarely assessed. Our study found

  18. Clonality evaluation in human tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Villamizar-Rivera, Nicolás

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Malignant proliferations are usually clonal. While most times the biological potential can be established through routine pathologic and clinical examinations, some cases are difficult to classify. Moreover, in some situations there are dominant clones whose analysis is important, such as in autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency. This paper presents in an understandable way the main techniques for the study of clonality, namely: evaluation of gene rearrangements of antigen receptor, and evaluation of human antigen receptor gene.

  19. PARTNERING TO IMPROVE HUMAN EXPOSURE METHODS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methods development research is an application-driven scientific area that addresses programmatic needs. The goals are to reduce measurement uncertainties, address data gaps, and improve existing analytical procedures for estimating human exposures. Partnerships have been develop...

  20. Improving credibility evaluations on Wikipedia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucassen, T.; Schmettow, Martin; Wiering, Caro H.; Pieters, Jules M.; Boer, Henk

    2011-01-01

    In this chapter, ongoing research on trust in Wikipedia is used as a case study to illustrate the design process of a support tool for Wikipedia, following the ASCE-model. This research is performed from a cognitive perspective and aims at users actively evaluating the credibility of information on

  1. Evaluate to Improve: Useful Approaches to Student Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golding, Clinton; Adam, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Many teachers in higher education use feedback from students to evaluate their teaching, but only some use these evaluations to improve their teaching. One important factor that makes the difference is the teacher's approach to their evaluations. In this article, we identify some useful approaches for improving teaching. We conducted focus groups…

  2. Evaluation of Authentic Human Caring Professional Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Barbara B; Watson, Jean

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to present an instrument and comparative database designed to evaluate patients' perceptions of caring behaviors of caregivers. Acute care leaders are under pressure to improve publicly reported patient satisfaction scores. Some nurse leaders have implemented professional practice environments based on human caring theory, whereas others have used scripting to standardize communication between staff and patients. The Watson Caritas Patient Score (WCPS) is collected quarterly from a random sample of patients who are admitted to acute care hospital units. The WCPS was able to discriminate across unit types and hospitals. Items were related to publicly reported nursing communication scores. Participation in research based on human caring theory has given nurse leaders the opportunity to evaluate effectiveness of professional practice environments. It may provide the opportunity to focus staff communication with patients more authentically and in a way that enriches the experience for both.

  3. The effect of social capital on improving productivity of human ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of social capital on improving productivity of human resources in the project of engineering, procurement and construction Bandar Abbas gas ... three minor hypotheses were formed,which evaluated the effect of social capital and its three-fold aspects (trust, solidarity and cooperation) on productivity, respectively.

  4. Evaluation of dual trigger with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and human chorionic gonadotropin in improving oocyte maturity rates: A prospective randomized study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nalini Mahajan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mature oocytes are prerequisite for achieving the process of in vitro fertilization. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG is the standard trigger used for stimulating ovulation but is associated with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist trigger achieves oocyte maturation and lowers the incidence of OHSS, but it has limitations of higher pregnancy loss rate and miscarriage rates. Coadministration of both hormones is found to improve the pregnancy rates and the number of mature oocytes retrieved. We aimed to assess if the dual trigger is better than the conventional hCG in triggering oocyte maturation. METHODOLOGY: The study included 76 female patients aged 24–43 years who were randomly divided into two groups with 38 patients in each arm. The study included patients with antimullerian hormone (AMH 4 ng/ml and AFC/ovary >12 to avoid OHSS risk with hCG trigger. RESULTS: The study showed statistically insignificant differences between dual group versus hCG group in terms of the number of oocytes retrieved (10.0 ± 5.6 vs. 8.7 ± 5.0; P = 0.2816, the number of mature oocytes recovered (8.4 ± 5.0 vs. 7.2 ± 4.0; P = 0.2588, fertilization rate (5.9 ± 4.2 vs. 5.6 ± 3.3; P = 0.7390, and the number of usable embryos on day 3 (4.0 ± 3.0 vs. 4.0 ± 2.4; P = 0.8991. CONCLUSION: The dual trigger is equivalent to hCG in triggering oocyte maturation.

  5. Mentoring approach improves evaluation capacity of ICTD ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-06-09

    Jun 9, 2016 ... An innovative IDRC initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and ...

  6. Evaluating and Improving Online Intelligence Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Alexandra Luce

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Civilian, military and government institutions offer a wide range of courses on intelligence and are increasingly doing so online. While evaluation and improvement are critical to ensuring quality training and education, there is little research about how to evaluate and improve online intelligence courses. Based on the author’s experience developing and teaching such courses, this article offers four suggestions to those involved in online intelligence training and education: (1 conduct a key assumptions check; (2 ensure the course presentation embodies the principles of intelligence communication; (3 encourage creative freedom; and (4 build in mechanisms for feedback throughout the course.

  7. Human resources evaluation in a marketing organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutić Dragutin

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This work is first of all part of authors' initiated thinking in which in a certain way they try to promote the idea and need to accept and develop the concept of human resources management by marketing managers. This work's subject matter deals with human resources evaluation in a marketing organization as an important and certain element of this management. A new approach with critical reference to the present state of theory and practice is explained, new solutions are offered and thorough, almost radical changes and turnarounds are supported. Marketing managers mostly reluctantly accept the evaluation system for their employees. They often say that this is not their basic job, that it unnecessarily and absurdly puts a burden on them, that it takes their time, or they think however that their goal is to increase sales, to extend the existing and enter new markets, to improve the relationship with buyers and consumers etc. Evaluation enables employees to understand clearly what they are expected and how their results will be evaluated. Each member of the organization wants to know and have feedback about his or her work. This assessment of his or her work is a basis for rewarding, job security, career development, promotion in the organization, improvement and professional training etc. Evaluation is not in the least easy and simple work. On the contrary, It is a matter of a very complicated work followed by many difficulties and different restrictions in practice. It is a fact that great part of failure and poor system lies in an approach systematically incomplete and taken for granted. The authors gave a thorough review of basic restrictions and difficulties that should be count on when evaluating the employees. They come from the evaluators themselves (marketing managers, unelaborated evaluation methodology, as well as insufficient and late information as a base for evaluation. Marketing managers efficiency evaluation is focused through

  8. Animal-Assisted Therapy for Improving Human Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sibel Cevizci

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT or Pet Therapy is an adjunctive therapy by taking advantage of human and animal interaction, activate the physiological and psychological mechanisms, initiate positive changes improving health in metabolism. In recent years, this interaction are in use to treat psychological and psychiatric disorders such as stress, depression, loneliness, pervasive developmental disorders affect negatively to human health. Furthermore, AAT has been increasingly used to improve quality of life, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. The aim of this paper is to identify AAT by reviewing human and animal interaction, evaluate how AAT has a scientific background from past to now. Also, we aim to give some information about the risks, institutional applications, some factors referring AAT’s mechanism of action and chronic diseases, psychological and physical improvements provided with animal assisted therapies. The therapy results will be evaluated more advisable providing AAT is being applied with public health specialist, veterinarian, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist and veterinary public health experts who are monitor applications. Especially, the psychosomatic effects result from physical, emotional and play mechanism of action of HDT can be used for improving quality of life in individuals with chronic diseases. In Turkey, there is no any investigation which have been performed in this scientific field. It is quitely important to evaluate the benefits of this therapy accurately and to select various methods proper to diseases. Consequently, it is obvious that AAT will be considered by the healthcare services as a supportive therapy process for improving human health in Turkey and needs further studies. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2009; 8(3.000: 263-272

  9. Improving evaluation at two medical schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiekirka-Schwake, Sarah; Dreiling, Katharina; Pyka, Katharina; Anders, Sven; von Steinbüchel, Nicole; Raupach, Tobias

    2017-08-03

    Student evaluations of teaching can provide useful feedback for teachers and programme coordinators alike. We have designed a novel evaluation tool assessing teacher performance and student learning outcome. This tool was implemented at two German medical schools. In this article, we report student and teacher perceptions of the novel tool, and the implementation process. Focus group discussions as well as one-to-one interviews involving 22 teachers and 31 undergraduate medical students were conducted. Following adjustments to the feedback reports (e.g. the colour coding of results) at one medical school, 42 teachers were asked about their perceptions of the revised report and the personal benefit of the evaluation tool. Teachers appreciated the individual feedback provided by the evaluation tool and stated that they wanted to improve their teaching, based on the results; however, they missed most of the preparative communication. Students were unsure about the additional benefit of the instrument compared with traditional evaluation tools. A majority was unwilling to complete evaluation forms in their spare time, and some felt that the new questionnaire was too long and that the evaluations occurred too often. They were particularly interested in feedback on how their comments have helped to further improve teaching. Student evaluations of teaching can provide useful feedback CONCLUSION: Despite evidence of the utility of the tool for individual teachers, implementation of changes to the process of evaluation appears to have been suboptimal, mainly owing to a perceived lack of communication. In order to motivate students to provide evaluation data, feedback loops including aims and consequences should be established. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and The Association for the Study of Medical Education.

  10. Does supplier evaluation impact process improvement?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Prasad h c

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The research explores and examines factors for supplier evaluation and its impact on process improvement particularly aiming on a steel pipe manufacturing firm in Gujarat, India. Design/Methodology/approach: The conceptual research framework was developed and hypotheses were stated considering the analysis of literature and discussions with the managers and engineers of a steel pipe manufacturing company in Gujarat, India. Data was collected using in-depth interview. The questionnaire primarily involves the perception of evaluation of supplier. Factors influencing supplier evaluation and its influence on process improvement is also examined in this study. The model testing and validation was done using partial least square method. Outcomes signified that the factors that influence evaluation of the supplier are quality, cost, delivery and supplier relationship management. Findings: The study depicted that quality and cost factors for supplier evaluation are insignificant. The delivery and supplier relationship management have significant influence on evaluation of the supplier. The research also depicted that supplier evaluation has significant influence on process improvement. Research limitations/implications: The study has been made specifically for ABC steel pipe manufacturing industry in Gujarat, India and may not be appropriate to the other industries or any parts of the world. There is a possibility of response bias as the conclusions of this research was interpreted on survey responses taken from the employees of case study company, so it is suggested that future research can overcome this problem by employing various methodologies in addition to surveys like carrying out focus group and in-depth interviews, brainstorming sessions with the experts etc. Originality/value: Many researchers have considered quality, cost and delivery as the factors for evaluating the suppliers. But for a company it is quintessential to have good

  11. THE EVALUATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF IT GOVERNANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Pérez Lorences

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The present article aims to propose a general procedure to evaluate and improve the Information Technology (IT Governance in an organization, considering the Business–IT alignment and risk management. The procedure integrates management tools such as business processes management, risk management, strategic alignment and the balanced scorecard. Additionally, to assess the IT Governance level we proposed an indicator based on the process maturity. The concepts and ideas presented here had been applied in four case studies, verifying their implementation feasibility. The results indicate a low level of IT governance and the existence of several problems primarily in the Plan and Organize and Monitor and Evaluate domains.

  12. Improving the Process of Student Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Neacşu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we analyzed the process of student evaluation from “Spiru Haret” University. The process under consideration occurs according to a specific Procedure – Process of student evaluation from the Manual of Quality Assurance Procedures, “Spiru Haret” University, Edition 1, 2012. The goal of this procedure, mentioned in the Manual, is to present the student evaluation procedure by using the Blackboard educational platform and other evaluation techniques of quality learning, based on materials developed by teachers of “Spiru Haret” University, as well as corresponding responsibilities, in order to increase the learning process quality and the exigency degree in the examination process, as well as students’ satisfaction measured by accumulated competences. We appreciate that the purpose of this procedure is first and foremost to ensure transparency and objectivity in exam passing decision. After identifying the weaknesses with the “cause - effect” chart, we have sought to improve student evaluation process using PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act method, resulting in the design of a new assessment flowchart.

  13. SEROLOGIC EVALUATION OF HUMAN MICROCYSTIN EXPOSURE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction Microcystins (MCYST) are among the most commonly detected toxins associated with cyanobacteria blooms worldwide. Biological evidence of human exposure is needed in order to evaluate potential MCYST-associated health effects. MCYST are detectable in free and bound fo...

  14. Veterinary and human vaccine evaluation methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight-Jones, T. J. D.; Edmond, K.; Gubbins, S.; Paton, D. J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the universal importance of vaccines, approaches to human and veterinary vaccine evaluation differ markedly. For human vaccines, vaccine efficacy is the proportion of vaccinated individuals protected by the vaccine against a defined outcome under ideal conditions, whereas for veterinary vaccines the term is used for a range of measures of vaccine protection. The evaluation of vaccine effectiveness, vaccine protection assessed under routine programme conditions, is largely limited to human vaccines. Challenge studies under controlled conditions and sero-conversion studies are widely used when evaluating veterinary vaccines, whereas human vaccines are generally evaluated in terms of protection against natural challenge assessed in trials or post-marketing observational studies. Although challenge studies provide a standardized platform on which to compare different vaccines, they do not capture the variation that occurs under field conditions. Field studies of vaccine effectiveness are needed to assess the performance of a vaccination programme. However, if vaccination is performed without central co-ordination, as is often the case for veterinary vaccines, evaluation will be limited. This paper reviews approaches to veterinary vaccine evaluation in comparison to evaluation methods used for human vaccines. Foot-and-mouth disease has been used to illustrate the veterinary approach. Recommendations are made for standardization of terminology and for rigorous evaluation of veterinary vaccines. PMID:24741009

  15. Reinforcement learning improves behaviour from evaluative feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littman, Michael L.

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning is a branch of machine learning concerned with using experience gained through interacting with the world and evaluative feedback to improve a system's ability to make behavioural decisions. It has been called the artificial intelligence problem in a microcosm because learning algorithms must act autonomously to perform well and achieve their goals. Partly driven by the increasing availability of rich data, recent years have seen exciting advances in the theory and practice of reinforcement learning, including developments in fundamental technical areas such as generalization, planning, exploration and empirical methodology, leading to increasing applicability to real-life problems.

  16. Improving healthcare through human city interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Woolliscroft, Tim; Polovina, Simon

    2017-01-01

    The study of information technology has given insufficient focus to a) the structural factors and b) the community perspective. As information systems become increasingly integrated with human systems these wider influences are more important than ever. Human city interaction concepts including their interplay with cyber-physical systems and social computing are appropriated to healthcare. Through Structuration Theory, insights are given into how healthcare through the human city interaction ...

  17. Development of a Field Management Standard for Improving Human Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yun, Young Su [Chosun University, Gwangju (Korea, Republic of); Son, Il Moon [Dongmyung University, Busan (Korea, Republic of); Son, Byung Chang [Korea Nazarene University, Cheonan (Korea, Republic of); Kwak, Hyo Yean [Suwon Science Collage, Suwon (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-07-15

    This project is to develop a management guideline for improving human performances as a part of the Human Factors Management System of Kori unit 1 which is managing all of human factors items such as man-machine system interfaces, work procedures, work environments, and human reliabilities in nuclear power plants. Human factors engineering includes an human factors suitability analysis and improvement of human works, an analysis of accidents by human error, an improvement of work environment, an establishment of human factors management rules and a development of human resources to manage and perform those things consistently. For assisting these human factors engineering tasks, we developed human factors management guidelines, checklists and work procedures to be used in staffing, qualification, training, and human information requirements and workload. We also provided a software tool for managing the above items. Additionally, contents and an item pool for a human factors qualifying examination and training programs were developed. A procedures improvement and a human factors V and V on the Kori unit 1 have been completed as a part of this project, too

  18. Improved detection of landmarks on 3D human face data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Shu; Wu, Jia; Weinberg, Seth M; Shapiro, Linda G

    2013-01-01

    Craniofacial researchers make heavy use of established facial landmarks in their morphometric analyses. For studies on very large facial image datasets, the standard approach of manual landmarking is very labor intensive. With the goal of producing 20 established landmarks, we have developed a geometric methodology that can automatically locate 10 established landmark points and 7 other supporting points on human 3D facial scans. Then, to improve accuracy and produce all 20 landmarks, a deformable matching procedure establishes a dense correspondence from a template 3D mesh with a full set of 20 landmarks to each individual 3D mesh. The 17 geometrically-determined points on the individual 3D mesh are used for the initial correspondence required by the deformable matching. The method is evaluated on 115 3D facial meshes of normal adults, and results are compared to landmarks manually identified by medical experts. Our results show a marked improvement to prior results in the recent literature.

  19. Advancing Usability Evaluation through Human Reliability Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ronald L. Boring; David I. Gertman

    2005-07-01

    This paper introduces a novel augmentation to the current heuristic usability evaluation methodology. The SPAR-H human reliability analysis method was developed for categorizing human performance in nuclear power plants. Despite the specialized use of SPAR-H for safety critical scenarios, the method also holds promise for use in commercial off-the-shelf software usability evaluations. The SPAR-H method shares task analysis underpinnings with human-computer interaction, and it can be easily adapted to incorporate usability heuristics as performance shaping factors. By assigning probabilistic modifiers to heuristics, it is possible to arrive at the usability error probability (UEP). This UEP is not a literal probability of error but nonetheless provides a quantitative basis to heuristic evaluation. When combined with a consequence matrix for usability errors, this method affords ready prioritization of usability issues.

  20. Improving the human-computer dialogue with increased temporal predictability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Florian; Haering, Carola; Thomaschke, Roland

    2013-10-01

    An experiment was conducted to investigate the impacts of length and variability of system response time (SRT) on user behavior and user experience (UX) in sequential computing tasks. Length is widely considered to be the most important aspect of SRTs in human-computer interaction. Research on temporal attention shows that humans adjust to temporal structures and that performance substantially improves with temporal predictability. Participants performed a sequential task with simulated office software. Duration and variability, that is, the number of different SRTs, was manipulated. Lower variability came at the expense of on average higher durations. User response times, task execution times, and failure rates were measured to assess user performance. UX was measured with a questionnaire. A reduction in variability improved user performance significantly. Whereas task load and failure rates remained constant, responses were significantly faster. Although a reduction in variability came along with, on average, increased SRTs, no difference in UX was found. Considering SRT variability when designing software can yield considerable performance benefits for the users. Although reduced variability comes at the expense of overall longer SRTs, the interface is not subjectively evaluated to be less satisfactory or demanding. Time design should aim not only at reducing average SRT length but also at finding the optimum balance of length and variability. Our findings can easily be applied in any user interface for sequential tasks. User performance can be improved without loss of satisfaction by selectively prolonging particular SRTs to reduce variability.

  1. Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burger, Oskar; Baudisch, Annette; Vaupel, James W

    2012-01-01

    Life expectancy is increasing in most countries and has exceeded 80 in several, as low-mortality nations continue to make progress in averting deaths. The health and economic implications of mortality reduction have been given substantial attention, but the observed malleability of human mortality...... has not been placed in a broad evolutionary context. We quantify the rate and amount of mortality reduction by comparing a variety of human populations to the evolved human mortality profile, here estimated as the average mortality pattern for ethnographically observed hunter-gatherers. We show...... that human mortality has decreased so substantially that the difference between hunter-gatherers and today's lowest mortality populations is greater than the difference between hunter-gatherers and wild chimpanzees. The bulk of this mortality reduction has occurred since 1900 and has been experienced by only...

  2. Human Resource Evaluation in Hotel Units

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Aspridis

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims at presenting and analysing the performance appraisalsystems and the human potential development in hotelunits. It aims at integrating and updating many aspects of performanceappraisal while concentrating on the hotel units systemto prove the importance of human resource evaluation in hotelunits and the procedure that is to be followed by the enterprisefor further development of hotel employees. HR evaluation analysisis presented through relevant theoretical background on theevaluation method and the presentation of the practical problematicalissues in order to create an image for a whole evaluationsystem of HR in Greek hotel enterprises.

  3. Human Resource Management for Continuous Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Laugen, Bjørge; Boer, Harry

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between HRM practices and Continuous Improvement (CI) activities in order to gain an understanding of how the HRM function may be utilized to improve CI implementation success, and consequently, organizational performance. The paper i...

  4. Human Resource Management for Continuous Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Laugen, Bjørge Timenes; Boer, Harry

    2007-01-01

    This paper investigates the relationship between HRM practices and Continuous Improvement (CI) activities in order to gain an understanding of how the HRM function may be utilized to improve CI implementation success, and consequently, company performance. The paper begins with a brief review of ...

  5. Improving Safety through Human Factors Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siewert, Bettina; Hochman, Mary G

    2015-10-01

    Human factors engineering (HFE) focuses on the design and analysis of interactive systems that involve people, technical equipment, and work environment. HFE is informed by knowledge of human characteristics. It complements existing patient safety efforts by specifically taking into consideration that, as humans, frontline staff will inevitably make mistakes. Therefore, the systems with which they interact should be designed for the anticipation and mitigation of human errors. The goal of HFE is to optimize the interaction of humans with their work environment and technical equipment to maximize safety and efficiency. Special safeguards include usability testing, standardization of processes, and use of checklists and forcing functions. However, the effectiveness of the safety program and resiliency of the organization depend on timely reporting of all safety events independent of patient harm, including perceived potential risks, bad outcomes that occur even when proper protocols have been followed, and episodes of "improvisation" when formal guidelines are found not to exist. Therefore, an institution must adopt a robust culture of safety, where the focus is shifted from blaming individuals for errors to preventing future errors, and where barriers to speaking up-including barriers introduced by steep authority gradients-are minimized. This requires creation of formal guidelines to address safety concerns, establishment of unified teams with open communication and shared responsibility for patient safety, and education of managers and senior physicians to perceive the reporting of safety concerns as a benefit rather than a threat. © RSNA, 2015.

  6. An improved silhouette for human pose estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawes, Anthony H.; Iftekharuddin, Khan M.

    2017-08-01

    We propose a novel method for analyzing images that exploits the natural lines of a human poses to find areas where self-occlusion could be present. Errors caused by self-occlusion cause several modern human pose estimation methods to mis-identify body parts, which reduces the performance of most action recognition algorithms. Our method is motivated by the observation that, in several cases, occlusion can be reasoned using only boundary lines of limbs. An intelligent edge detection algorithm based on the above principle could be used to augment the silhouette with information useful for pose estimation algorithms and push forward progress on occlusion handling for human action recognition. The algorithm described is applicable to computer vision scenarios involving 2D images and (appropriated flattened) 3D images.

  7. IARC monographs: 40 years of evaluating carcinogenic hazards to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Neil; Blair, Aaron; Vineis, Paolo; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Andersen, Aage; Anto, Josep M; Armstrong, Bruce K; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Beland, Frederick A; Berrington, Amy; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto; Birnbaum, Linda S; Brownson, Ross C; Bucher, John R; Cantor, Kenneth P; Cardis, Elisabeth; Cherrie, John W; Christiani, David C; Cocco, Pierluigi; Coggon, David; Comba, Pietro; Demers, Paul A; Dement, John M; Douwes, Jeroen; Eisen, Ellen A; Engel, Lawrence S; Fenske, Richard A; Fleming, Lora E; Fletcher, Tony; Fontham, Elizabeth; Forastiere, Francesco; Frentzel-Beyme, Rainer; Fritschi, Lin; Gerin, Michel; Goldberg, Marcel; Grandjean, Philippe; Grimsrud, Tom K; Gustavsson, Per; Haines, Andy; Hartge, Patricia; Hansen, Johnni; Hauptmann, Michael; Heederik, Dick; Hemminki, Kari; Hemon, Denis; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hoppin, Jane A; Huff, James; Jarvholm, Bengt; Kang, Daehee; Karagas, Margaret R; Kjaerheim, Kristina; Kjuus, Helge; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; Kristensen, Petter; Kromhout, Hans; Laden, Francine; Lebailly, Pierre; LeMasters, Grace; Lubin, Jay H; Lynch, Charles F; Lynge, Elsebeth; 't Mannetje, Andrea; McMichael, Anthony J; McLaughlin, John R; Marrett, Loraine; Martuzzi, Marco; Merchant, James A; Merler, Enzo; Merletti, Franco; Miller, Anthony; Mirer, Franklin E; Monson, Richard; Nordby, Karl-Cristian; Olshan, Andrew F; Parent, Marie-Elise; Perera, Frederica P; Perry, Melissa J; Pesatori, Angela Cecilia; Pirastu, Roberta; Porta, Miquel; Pukkala, Eero; Rice, Carol; Richardson, David B; Ritter, Leonard; Ritz, Beate; Ronckers, Cecile M; Rushton, Lesley; Rusiecki, Jennifer A; Rusyn, Ivan; Samet, Jonathan M; Sandler, Dale P; de Sanjose, Silvia; Schernhammer, Eva; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Seixas, Noah; Shy, Carl; Siemiatycki, Jack; Silverman, Debra T; Simonato, Lorenzo; Smith, Allan H; Smith, Martyn T; Spinelli, John J; Spitz, Margaret R; Stallones, Lorann; Stayner, Leslie T; Steenland, Kyle; Stenzel, Mark; Stewart, Bernard W; Stewart, Patricia A; Symanski, Elaine; Terracini, Benedetto; Tolbert, Paige E; Vainio, Harri; Vena, John; Vermeulen, Roel; Victora, Cesar G; Ward, Elizabeth M; Weinberg, Clarice R; Weisenburger, Dennis; Wesseling, Catharina; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Zahm, Shelia Hoar

    2015-06-01

    Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also for the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that failures of IARC Working Groups to recognize study weaknesses and biases of Working Group members have led to inappropriate classification of a number of agents as carcinogenic to humans. The authors of this Commentary are scientists from various disciplines relevant to the identification and hazard evaluation of human carcinogens. We examined criticisms of the IARC classification process to determine the validity of these concerns. Here, we present the results of that examination, review the history of IARC evaluations, and describe how the IARC evaluations are performed. We concluded that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various disciplines and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has been modified over time and will undoubtedly be altered in the future to improve the process. Any process can in theory be improved, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. This does not mean, however, that the current procedures are flawed. The IARC Monographs have made, and continue to make, major contributions to the scientific underpinning for societal actions to improve the public's health.

  8. Improving treatment plan evaluation with automation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covington, Elizabeth L.; Chen, Xiaoping; Younge, Kelly C.; Lee, Choonik; Matuszak, Martha M.; Kessler, Marc L.; Keranen, Wayne; Acosta, Eduardo; Dougherty, Ashley M.; Filpansick, Stephanie E.; Moran, Jean M.

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of Plan-Checker Tool (PCT) which was created to improve first-time plan quality, reduce patient delays, increase the efficiency of our electronic workflow, and standardize and automate the physics plan review in the treatment planning system (TPS). PCT uses an application programming interface to check and compare data from the TPS and treatment management system (TMS). PCT includes a comprehensive checklist of automated and manual checks that are documented when performed by the user as part of a plan readiness check for treatment. Prior to and during PCT development, errors identified during the physics review and causes of patient treatment start delays were tracked to prioritize which checks should be automated. Nineteen of 33checklist items were automated, with data extracted with PCT. There was a 60% reduction in the number of patient delays in the six months after PCT release. PCT was successfully implemented for use on all external beam treatment plans in our clinic. While the number of errors found during the physics check did not decrease, automation of checks increased visibility of errors during the physics check, which led to decreased patient delays. The methods used here can be applied to any TMS and TPS that allows queries of the database. PMID:27929478

  9. Conceptual modelling of human resource evaluation process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Negoiţă Doina Olivia

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Taking into account the highly diverse tasks which employees have to fulfil due to complex requirements of nowadays consumers, the human resource within an enterprise has become a strategic element for developing and exploiting products which meet the market expectations. Therefore, organizations encounter difficulties when approaching the human resource evaluation process. Hence, the aim of the current paper is to design a conceptual model of the aforementioned process, which allows the enterprises to develop a specific methodology. In order to design the conceptual model, Business Process Modelling instruments were employed - Adonis Community Edition Business Process Management Toolkit using the ADONIS BPMS Notation. The conceptual model was developed based on an in-depth secondary research regarding the human resource evaluation process. The proposed conceptual model represents a generic workflow (sequential and/ or simultaneously activities, which can be extended considering the enterprise’s needs regarding their requirements when conducting a human resource evaluation process. Enterprises can benefit from using software instruments for business process modelling as they enable process analysis and evaluation (predefined / specific queries and also model optimization (simulations.

  10. Managing human resources to improve employee retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Edwin

    2005-01-01

    Managers face increased challenges as the demand for health care services increases while the supply of employees with the requisite skills continues to lag. Employee retention will become more important in the effort to service health care needs. Appropriate human resource management strategies and policies implemented effectively can significantly assist managers in dealing with the employee retention challenges ahead.

  11. Towards Improved Human Resource Development In Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Development of society is the major preoccupation of most governments in the third world countries. As a result, human resource has been identified as one of the most important catalyst in the nation\\'s development. Infact it is the major propeller for development. In Nigeria, this important and critical resource has not been ...

  12. Mentoring approach improves evaluation capacity of ICTD ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Seeing evaluation as an opportunity for learning rather than as an accountability exercise;; Defining the uses of evaluation, and making sure findings are utilized; and; Ensuring participation from all stakeholders in the evaluation process. You can read the evaluation reports from the five projects: Communication Policy ...

  13. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco [Maintenance Training Centre, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain); Agueero Agueero, Jorge [Technologic Institute, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  14. Resistant starch: promise for improving human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birt, Diane F; Boylston, Terri; Hendrich, Suzanne; Jane, Jay-Lin; Hollis, James; Li, Li; McClelland, John; Moore, Samuel; Phillips, Gregory J; Rowling, Matthew; Schalinske, Kevin; Scott, M Paul; Whitley, Elizabeth M

    2013-11-01

    Ongoing research to develop digestion-resistant starch for human health promotion integrates the disciplines of starch chemistry, agronomy, analytical chemistry, food science, nutrition, pathology, and microbiology. The objectives of this research include identifying components of starch structure that confer digestion resistance, developing novel plants and starches, and modifying foods to incorporate these starches. Furthermore, recent and ongoing studies address the impact of digestion-resistant starches on the prevention and control of chronic human diseases, including diabetes, colon cancer, and obesity. This review provides a transdisciplinary overview of this field, including a description of types of resistant starches; factors in plants that affect digestion resistance; methods for starch analysis; challenges in developing food products with resistant starches; mammalian intestinal and gut bacterial metabolism; potential effects on gut microbiota; and impacts and mechanisms for the prevention and control of colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Although this has been an active area of research and considerable progress has been made, many questions regarding how to best use digestion-resistant starches in human diets for disease prevention must be answered before the full potential of resistant starches can be realized.

  15. Human Resource Development's Contribution to Continuous Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Hyland, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Continuous Improvement (CI) is an approach to organizational change that requires active involvement of skilled and motivated employees, which implies an important role for HRD practitioners. The findings from a literature review and a survey of 168 Danish manufacturing companies indicate however...

  16. Human Resource Development's Contribution to Continuous Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Hyland, Paul

    Continuous Improvement (CI) is an approach to organizational change that requires active involvement of skilled and motivated employees, which implies an important role for HRD practitioners. The findings from a literature review and a survey of 168 Danish manufacturing companies indicate however...

  17. Research Steps Towards Human Sequence Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzàlez, Jordi; Roca, F. Xavier; Villanueva, Juan J.

    Human Sequence Evaluation (HSE) concentrates on how to extract descriptions of human behaviour from videos in a restricted discourse domain, such as (i) pedestrians crossing inner-city roads where pedestrians appear approaching or waiting at stops of busses or trams, and (ii) humans in indoor worlds like an airport hall, a train station, or a lobby. These discourse domains allow exploring a coherent evaluation of human movements and facial expressions across a wide variation of scale. This general approach lends itself to various cognitive surveillance scenarios at varying degrees of resolution: from wide-field-of-view multiple-agent scenes, through to more specific inferences of emotional state that could be elicited from high resolution imagery of faces. The true challenge of HSE will consist of the development of a system facility which starts with basic knowledge about pedestrian behaviour in the chosen discourse domain, but could cluster evaluation results into semantically meaningful subsets of behaviours. The envisaged system will comprise an internal logic-based representation which enables it to comment each individual subset, giving natural language explanations of why the system has created the subset in question.

  18. Improving the Process of Student Evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Gabriela Neacşu; Laura Patache; Daniel Dăneci-Pătrău; Camelia Boarcăş; Alina Valentina Gherco

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we analyzed the process of student evaluation from “Spiru Haret” University. The process under consideration occurs according to a specific Procedure – Process of student evaluation from the Manual of Quality Assurance Procedures, “Spiru Haret” University, Edition 1, 2012. The goal of this procedure, mentioned in the Manual, is to present the student evaluation procedure by using the Blackboard educational platform and other evaluation techniques of quality learning, based on ma...

  19. Mixed reality humans: evaluating behavior, usability, and acceptability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotranza, Aaron; Lok, Benjamin; Deladisma, Adeline; Pugh, Carla M; Lind, D Scott

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents Mixed Reality Humans (MRHs), a new type of embodied agent enabling touch-driven communication. Affording touch between human and agent allows MRHs to simulate interpersonal scenarios in which touch is crucial. Two studies provide initial evaluation of user behavior with a MRH patient and the usability and acceptability of a MRH patient for practice and evaluation of medical students' clinical skills. In Study I (n=8) it was observed that students treated MRHs as social actors more than students in prior interactions with virtual human patients (n=27), and used interpersonal touch to comfort and reassure the MRH patient similarly to prior interactions with human patients (n=76). In the within-subjects Study II (n=11), medical students performed a clinical breast exam on each of a MRH and human patient. Participants performed equivalent exams with the MRH and human patients, demonstrating the usability of MRHs to evaluate students' exam skills. The acceptability of the MRH patient for practicing exam skills was high as students rated the experience as believable and educationally beneficial. Acceptability was improved from Study I to Study II due to an increase in the MRH's visual realism, demonstrating that visual realism is critical for simulation of specific interpersonal scenarios.

  20. Artificial Means for Improving Human Motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Hodgins

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper gives a brief description of some of the key ongoing product developments in Europe for medical implants. A range of medical systems that are currently being developed under European-funded programmes are briefly described. The first is an implant that helps people with ‘dropped foot’ improve their walking. Further research on body-worn inertial measuring systems (IMUs and microsystems will extend the capabilities to other lower-limb and upper-limb applications in the future. Other medical systems being developed with the use of microsystems and nanotechnology include a system to aid deaf and blind people.

  1. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  2. Improving system quality through software evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDaniel, James G

    2002-05-01

    The role of evaluation is examined with respect to quality of software in healthcare. Of particular note is the failure of the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine. This example provides evidence of several types of defect which could have been detected and corrected using appropriate evaluation procedures. The field of software engineering has developed metrics and guidelines to assist in software evaluation but this example indicates that software evaluation must be extended beyond the formally defined interfaces of the software to its real-life operating context.

  3. Software Maintenance Management Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

    CERN Document Server

    April, Alain

    2008-01-01

    This book explores the domain of software maintenance management and provides road maps for improving software maintenance organizations. It describes full maintenance maturity models organized by levels 1, 2, and 3, which allow for benchmarking and continuous improvement paths. Goals for each key practice area are also provided, and the model presented is fully aligned with the architecture and framework of software development maturity models of CMMI and ISO 15504. It is complete with case studies, figures, tables, and graphs.

  4. Development of HANARO human factors management plan and evaluation of BCS display

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oh, I. S.; Lee, J. W.; Lee, Y. H. [and others

    2004-01-01

    In this study, human factors evaluation of BCS display design was performed. We adopted the suitability of design elements of BCS display as human factors evaluation measure. And, we also adopted guideline based evaluation, field survey and expert evaluation as evaluation method. The checklist was utilized for the evaluation, and the results of evaluation were well arranged in the evaluation format. We did not find out the HED (Human Engineering Discrepancy) impede safety of HANARO, except some necessary items to improve during short periods. We also provide some items of improvement for the enhancement of safety and operator's performance in the aspect of long periods. If the proposed improvement items were completely fulfilled, the more improved safety of HANARO will be secured.

  5. Modelling the Role of Human Resource Management in Continuous Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Hyland, Paul; Kofoed, Lise B.

    2006-01-01

    Although it is widely acknowledged that both Human Resource Management (HRM) and Continuous Improvement have the potential to positively influencing organizational performance, very little attention has been given to how certain HRM practices may support CI, and consequently, a company...

  6. Simulating Human Carer with an Avatar to Improve Medication Adherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Kerry Y; Bjering, Heidi; Ginige, Athula

    2017-01-01

    Non-adherence to medication and treatment regimens is considered as a major issue in the healthcare industry as it can lead to negative consequences. Various strategies have been applied to improve adherence, however many of these strategies lack the interaction and personalisation-aspect which has been shown to be crucial to the patients. This paper discusses the importance of personalised interaction in improving patients' medication adherence, and the characteristics needed in an avatar to simulate such human-human interactions.

  7. Improvement of Human Resource Management CASE: Okey markets

    OpenAIRE

    Bogdanov, Yury

    2015-01-01

    The target of this project is to analyse human resource management focusing on the case of an existing company, "OKEY" and find out how improve human resource management and how it could be possible to implement it in this company. In this work I have used web resources and information from the company together with an interview.

  8. IMPROVING HUMAN RESOURCES REPORTING IN NON FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolae Todea1; Delia Corina Mihaltan2

    2013-01-01

    The paper aims to expose the present reality concerning the information offered byaccounting regarding the human resources in a non for profit organization and to propose ways ofimproving it. To this end we display the typical aspects of human resources which are connected tothe specificities of the non for profit organizations and their impact on accounting. We emphasizethe deficiencies of human resources reporting and submit means of improving it.

  9. Evaluation of human hairs with terahertz wave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serita, Kazunori; Murakami, Hironaru; Kawayama, Iwao; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Mori, Yusuke; Tonouchi, Masayoshi

    2014-03-01

    Single human hairs using a scanning laser terahertz (THz) imaging system are evaluated. The system features near-field THz emission and far-field THz detection. A sample is set in the vicinity of a two-dimensional THz emitter, and an excitation laser beam is scanned over the emitter via a galvanometer. By detecting the transmitted THz wave pulses that are locally generated at the irradiation spots of the excitation laser, we can obtain the THz transmission image and the spectrum of the sample with imaging time of 47 s for 512×512 pixels and maximum resolution of ˜27 μm. Using the system, we succeeded in observing the specific features of single human hairs in both the THz transmittance spectra and transmission images; it was found that the THz transmittance spectrum of gray hair shows a tendency of increase while that of black hair shows a decrease with increasing frequency above 1.2 THz. We could also observe the change of the moisture retention in the hair, and it is found that cuticles play one of the important roles in keeping moisture inside the hair. Those obtained data indicate that our system can be useful for evaluating single human hairs and those kinds of microscale samples.

  10. [An improved medical image fusion algorithm and quality evaluation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Meiling; Tao, Ling; Qian, Zhiyu

    2009-08-01

    Medical image fusion is of very important value for application in medical image analysis and diagnosis. In this paper, the conventional method of wavelet fusion is improved,so a new algorithm of medical image fusion is presented and the high frequency and low frequency coefficients are studied respectively. When high frequency coefficients are chosen, the regional edge intensities of each sub-image are calculated to realize adaptive fusion. The choice of low frequency coefficient is based on the edges of images, so that the fused image preserves all useful information and appears more distinctly. We apply the conventional and the improved fusion algorithms based on wavelet transform to fuse two images of human body and also evaluate the fusion results through a quality evaluation method. Experimental results show that this algorithm can effectively retain the details of information on original images and enhance their edge and texture features. This new algorithm is better than the conventional fusion algorithm based on wavelet transform.

  11. Evaluation of Barley as Human Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Köten

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Barley, as animal feed, raw material for malting and human food, constitute an important part among cereal sources in the world. Majority of barley that produced both in Turkey and other countries of the world, is being used as animal feed. Poor baking quality, taste and appearance of barley restricted its use in human nutrition. However, recently high protein, fiber, especially β-glucan and high starch content appeal to food industry. Many scientific researches established that β-glucan, a soluble fiber, has an effect in healing coronary-hearth diseases, lowering blood cholesterol level, balancing blood sugar level, preventing obesity. Being a healthy cereal that can be used in various purposes, and an additive in many food products, barley is considered a very promising cereal, and research to increase possibilities of its use in human nutrition is being increased. In the literature, there has been researches on making noodles, bulgur, kavut (roasted cereal, breakfast cereals. In this study the researches relating to evaluation of barley, importance of which is increased every day, as human food was reviewed.

  12. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Integrating From the Nanoscale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roco, M.C., E-mail: mroco@nsf.gov; Bainbridge, W.S. [National Science Foundation (United States)

    2002-08-15

    In the early decades of the twenty-first century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new humane technologies based in cognitive science. Converging technologies integrated from the nanoscale could determine a tremendous improvement in human abilities and societal outcomes. This is a broad, cross cutting, emerging, and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society, and humanity in the long term.About eighty scientific leaders, industry experts, and policy makers across a range of fields have contributed to develop a vision for the potential to improve human physical, mental, and social capabilities through the convergence of the four technologies. Six major themes have emerged: (a) The broad potential of converging technologies; (b) Expanding human cognition and communication; (c) Improving human health and physical capabilities; (d) Enhancing group and societal outcomes; (e) National security, and (f) Unifying science and education. This article summarizes the observations, conclusions, and recommendations made in the report (Roco and Bainbridge, eds., 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, NSF-DOC Report, June 2002, Arlington VA, USA)

  13. Can human rights discourse improve the health of Indigenous Australians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Natalie; Bailie, Ross

    2006-10-01

    Recognition of the poor health outcomes of Indigenous Australians has led to an interest in using human rights discourse as a framework for arguing that the Australian Government has an international obligation to improve Indigenous health. This paper explores two potential directions for human rights discourse in this context. The first is the development and elaboration of an asserted 'human right to health'. The second focuses on developing an understanding of the interactions between health and human rights, particularly the underlying social determinants of health, and thereby creating an advocacy framework that could be used to promote the inclusion of human rights considerations into the policy-making agenda. This paper argues that despite the symbolic force of human rights discourse, its capacity to improve the health of Indigenous Australians through international law is limited. This is so irrespective of whether recourse is made to a legal or moral imperative. The 'human right to health' is limited primarily by several barriers to its implementation, some of which are perpetuated by the current Australian Government itself. Although the potential advocacy capacity of human rights discourse is similarly limited by the hostility of the Government towards the notion of incorporating human rights considerations into its public policy decision making, it does provide a sustainable intellectual framework in which to consider the social and structural determinants of health and maintain these issues on the political agenda.

  14. Recommendations for evaluation of health care improvement initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Gareth J; Carson-Stevens, Andrew; Luff, Donna F; McPherson, Marianne E; Goldmann, Donald A

    2013-01-01

    Intensive efforts are underway across the world to improve the quality of health care. It is important to use evaluation methods to identify improvement efforts that work well before they are replicated across a broad range of contexts. Evaluation methods need to provide an understanding of why an improvement initiative has or has not worked and how it can be improved in the future. However, improvement initiatives are complex, and evaluation is not always well aligned with the intent and maturity of the intervention, thus limiting the applicability of the results. We describe how initiatives can be grouped into 1 of 3 improvement phases-innovation, testing, and scale-up and spread-depending on the degree of belief in the associated interventions. We describe how many evaluation approaches often lead to a finding of no effect, consistent with what has been termed Rossi's Iron Law of Evaluation. Alternatively, we recommend that the guiding question of evaluation in health care improvement be, "How and in what contexts does a new model work or can be amended to work?" To answer this, we argue for the adoption of formative, theory-driven evaluation. Specifically, evaluations start by identifying a program theory that comprises execution and content theories. These theories should be revised as the initiative develops by applying a rapid-cycle evaluation approach, in which evaluation findings are fed back to the initiative leaders on a regular basis. We describe such evaluation strategies, accounting for the phase of improvement as well as the context and setting in which the improvement concept is being deployed. Finally, we challenge the improvement and evaluation communities to come together to refine the specific methods required so as to avoid the trap of Rossi's Iron Law. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. The human milk project: a quality improvement initiative to increase human milk consumption in very low birth weight infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Laura; Auer, Christine; Smith, Carrie; Schoettker, Pamela J; Pruett, Raymond; Shah, Nilesh Y; Kotagal, Uma R

    2012-08-01

    Human milk has well-established health benefits for preterm infants. We conducted a multidisciplinary quality improvement effort aimed at providing at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in the first 14 days of life to very low birth weight (VLBW) (milk program, and twice-daily physician evaluation of infants' ability to tolerate feedings. The number of infants receiving at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in their first 14 days of life increased from 50% to 80% within 11 months of implementation, and this increase has been sustained for 4 years. Infants who met the feeding goal because they received donor milk increased each year. Since September 2007, infants have received, on average, 1,111 mL of human milk/kg. Approximately 4% of infants did not receive any human milk. Respiratory instability was the most frequent physiological reason given by clinicians for not initiating or advancing feedings in the first 14 days of life. Our quality improvement initiative resulted in a higher consumption of human milk in VLBW infants in the first 14 days of life. Other clinicians can use these described quality improvement methods and techniques to improve their VLBW babies' consumption of human milk.

  16. Image Inpainting Methods Evaluation and Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca Vreja

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available With the upgrowing of digital processing of images and film archiving, the need for assisted or unsupervised restoration required the development of a series of methods and techniques. Among them, image inpainting is maybe the most impressive and useful. Based on partial derivative equations or texture synthesis, many other hybrid techniques have been proposed recently. The need for an analytical comparison, beside the visual one, urged us to perform the studies shown in the present paper. Starting with an overview of the domain, an evaluation of the five methods was performed using a common benchmark and measuring the PSNR. Conclusions regarding the performance of the investigated algorithms have been presented, categorizing them in function of the restored image structure. Based on these experiments, we have proposed an adaptation of Oliveira’s and Hadhoud’s algorithms, which are performing well on images with natural defects.

  17. Image inpainting methods evaluation and improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vreja, Raluca; Brad, Remus

    2014-01-01

    With the upgrowing of digital processing of images and film archiving, the need for assisted or unsupervised restoration required the development of a series of methods and techniques. Among them, image inpainting is maybe the most impressive and useful. Based on partial derivative equations or texture synthesis, many other hybrid techniques have been proposed recently. The need for an analytical comparison, beside the visual one, urged us to perform the studies shown in the present paper. Starting with an overview of the domain, an evaluation of the five methods was performed using a common benchmark and measuring the PSNR. Conclusions regarding the performance of the investigated algorithms have been presented, categorizing them in function of the restored image structure. Based on these experiments, we have proposed an adaptation of Oliveira's and Hadhoud's algorithms, which are performing well on images with natural defects.

  18. Animal-Assisted Therapy for Improving Human Health

    OpenAIRE

    Sibel Cevizci; Ethem Erginoz; Zuhal Baltas

    2009-01-01

    ABSTRACT Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Therapy is an adjunctive therapy by taking advantage of human and animal interaction, activate the physiological and psychological mechanisms, initiate positive changes improving health in metabolism. In recent years, this interaction are in use to treat psychological and psychiatric disorders such as stress, depression, loneliness, pervasive developmental disorders affect negatively to human health. Furthermore, AAT has been increasingly used to ...

  19. Evaluating Learning Algorithms to Support Human Rule Evaluation Based on Objective Rule Evaluation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Abe

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present an evaluation of learning algorithms of a novel rule evaluation support method for post-processing of mined results with rule evaluation models based on objective indices. Post-processing of mined results is one of the key processes in a data mining process. However, it is difficult for human experts to completely evaluate several thousands of rules from a large dataset with noise. To reduce the costs in such rule evaluation task, we have developed a rule evaluation support method with rule evaluation models that learn from a dataset. This dataset comprises objective indices for mined classification rules and evaluation by a human expert for each rule. To evaluate performances of learning algorithms for constructing the rule evaluation models, we have done a case study on the meningitis data mining as an actual problem. Furthermore, we have also evaluated our method with ten rule sets obtained from ten UCI datasets. With regard to these results, we show the availability of our rule evaluation support method for human experts.

  20. Terroir as a Concept to Improve Human Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Steffan, Joshua J.; Burgess, Lynn C.; Cerdà, Artemi; Pereg, Lily

    2017-04-01

    Soil is important to human health because of the ability of healthy soils to supply nutrients through food products, medications derived from soil, its ability to clean water, and for many other positive reasons. On the other hand, degraded soils can have negative impacts on human health through processes such as dust generation and by acting as a point of human contact with heavy metals, organic chemicals, and pathogens. Despite the definite links between soil and human health, it is likely that most people don't think about soil when considering human health issues. In fact, there appears to be a disconnect between most people in our modern society and soil, and when people do notice soil it often seems to be in a negative context, leading to terms such as "soiled", "dirty", "dirt poor", etc. People pay attention to and care for things that matter to them, and creating a more positive public image of soil has the possibility of improving human health by leading to careful and caring treatment of the soil resource. The concept of terroir is a good example of a setting within which soils have a more positive image. While terroir originally established a connection between those who love wine and the soils that produce those wines, the concept has been expanded to many additional products such as cacao, cheese, coffee, fruits, olive oil, and vegetables. If the terroir concept could be expanded to include additional products that are important to people and expanded into parts of the world where it is not currently well known, that may provide an increased positive perception of soil, and thereby indirectly improve human health. It may even be possible to provide a terroir link to direct health benefits, such as medications derived from a given soil environment, and therefore provide a very focused emphasis on soil and human health issues. Therefore, we advocate a concerted effort to expand the terroir concept as a means to improve overall human health.

  1. The Role of Evaluation in the School Improvement Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, Ronald A.; Beach, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    Although evaluation serves many purposes in education, there is virtually unanimous agreement that evaluation is a critical component of all school improvement processes. Hamilton et al. (2003) asserted that "assessment and evaluation should be built into reform programs from the outset" (p. 26). Kimball, Lander, and Thorn (2010)…

  2. Simplified Human-Robot Interaction: Modeling and Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balazs Daniel

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper a novel concept of human-robot interaction (HRI modeling is proposed. Including factors like trust in automation, situational awareness, expertise and expectations a new user experience framework is formed for industrial robots. Service Oriented Robot Operation, proposed in a previous paper, creates an abstract level in HRI and it is also included in the framework. This concept is evaluated with exhaustive tests. Results prove that significant improvement in task execution may be achieved and the new system is more usable for operators with less experience with robotics; personnel specific for small and medium enterprises (SMEs.

  3. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/328554197; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  4. Improving the Status of Human and Material Resources in Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study considered some selected public primary schools in Oyo State in order to determine the status of human and material resources available there so that a case can be made for their improvement towards the achievement of one of the cardinal goals of the Millennium Development Goals project in the State.

  5. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  6. Promoting Instructional Improvement: A Strategic Human Resource Management Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smylie, Mark A.; Wenzel, Stacy A.

    2006-01-01

    This report argues that instructional improvement, which goes hand-in-hand with efforts at education reform, can be promoted through the strategic use of human resource management (HRM) practices at the school, district, and state levels. The authors present information from the organizational and management literatures on how firms in several…

  7. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  8. Latent human error analysis and efficient improvement strategies by fuzzy TOPSIS in aviation maintenance tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Ming-Chuan; Hsieh, Min-Chih

    2016-05-01

    The purposes of this study were to develop a latent human error analysis process, to explore the factors of latent human error in aviation maintenance tasks, and to provide an efficient improvement strategy for addressing those errors. First, we used HFACS and RCA to define the error factors related to aviation maintenance tasks. Fuzzy TOPSIS with four criteria was applied to evaluate the error factors. Results show that 1) adverse physiological states, 2) physical/mental limitations, and 3) coordination, communication, and planning are the factors related to airline maintenance tasks that could be addressed easily and efficiently. This research establishes a new analytic process for investigating latent human error and provides a strategy for analyzing human error using fuzzy TOPSIS. Our analysis process complements shortages in existing methodologies by incorporating improvement efficiency, and it enhances the depth and broadness of human error analysis methodology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Human eye visual hyperacuity: Controlled diffraction for image resolution improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagunas, A.; Domínguez, O.; Martinez-Conde, S.; Macknik, S. L.; Del-Río, C.

    2017-09-01

    The Human Visual System appears to be using a low number of sensors for image capturing, and furthermore, regarding the physical dimensions of cones—photoreceptors responsible for the sharp central vision—we may realize that these sensors are of a relatively small size and area. Nonetheless, the human eye is capable of resolving fine details thanks to visual hyperacuity and presents an impressive sensitivity and dynamic range when set against conventional digital cameras of similar characteristics. This article is based on the hypothesis that the human eye may be benefiting from diffraction to improve both image resolution and acquisition process. The developed method involves the introduction of a controlled diffraction pattern at an initial stage that enables the use of a limited number of sensors for capturing the image and makes possible a subsequent post-processing to improve the final image resolution.

  10. Methods for evaluation of small scale quality improvement projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, G; Wensing, M

    2003-06-01

    Evaluation is an integral component of quality improvement and there is much to be learned from the evaluation of small scale quality improvement initiatives at a local level. This type of evaluation is useful for a number of different reasons including monitoring the impact of local projects, identifying and dealing with issues as they arise within a project, comparing local projects to draw lessons, and collecting more detailed information as part of a bigger evaluation project. Focused audits and developmental studies can be used for evaluation within projects, while methods such as multiple case studies and process evaluations can be used to draw generalised lessons from local experiences and to provide examples of successful projects. Evaluations of small scale quality improvement projects help those involved in improvement initiatives to optimise their choice of interventions and use of resources. Important information to add to the knowledge base of quality improvement in health care can be derived by undertaking formal evaluation of local projects, particularly in relation to building theory around the processes of implementation and increasing understanding of the complex change processes involved.

  11. IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Aaron; Vineis, Paolo; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Andersen, Aage; Anto, Josep M.; Armstrong, Bruce K.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Beland, Frederick A.; Berrington, Amy; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto; Birnbaum, Linda S.; Brownson, Ross C.; Bucher, John R.; Cantor, Kenneth P.; Cardis, Elisabeth; Cherrie, John W.; Christiani, David C.; Cocco, Pierluigi; Coggon, David; Comba, Pietro; Demers, Paul A.; Dement, John M.; Douwes, Jeroen; Eisen, Ellen A.; Engel, Lawrence S.; Fenske, Richard A.; Fleming, Lora E.; Fletcher, Tony; Fontham, Elizabeth; Forastiere, Francesco; Frentzel-Beyme, Rainer; Fritschi, Lin; Gerin, Michel; Goldberg, Marcel; Grandjean, Philippe; Grimsrud, Tom K.; Gustavsson, Per; Haines, Andy; Hartge, Patricia; Hansen, Johnni; Hauptmann, Michael; Heederik, Dick; Hemminki, Kari; Hemon, Denis; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hoppin, Jane A.; Huff, James; Jarvholm, Bengt; Kang, Daehee; Karagas, Margaret R.; Kjaerheim, Kristina; Kjuus, Helge; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; Kristensen, Petter; Kromhout, Hans; Laden, Francine; Lebailly, Pierre; LeMasters, Grace; Lubin, Jay H.; Lynch, Charles F.; Lynge, Elsebeth; ‘t Mannetje, Andrea; McMichael, Anthony J.; McLaughlin, John R.; Marrett, Loraine; Martuzzi, Marco; Merchant, James A.; Merler, Enzo; Merletti, Franco; Miller, Anthony; Mirer, Franklin E.; Monson, Richard; Nordby, Karl-Cristian; Olshan, Andrew F.; Parent, Marie-Elise; Perera, Frederica P.; Perry, Melissa J.; Pesatori, Angela Cecilia; Pirastu, Roberta; Porta, Miquel; Pukkala, Eero; Rice, Carol; Richardson, David B.; Ritter, Leonard; Ritz, Beate; Ronckers, Cecile M.; Rushton, Lesley; Rusiecki, Jennifer A.; Rusyn, Ivan; Samet, Jonathan M.; Sandler, Dale P.; de Sanjose, Silvia; Schernhammer, Eva; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Seixas, Noah; Shy, Carl; Siemiatycki, Jack; Silverman, Debra T.; Simonato, Lorenzo; Smith, Allan H.; Smith, Martyn T.; Spinelli, John J.; Spitz, Margaret R.; Stallones, Lorann; Stayner, Leslie T.; Steenland, Kyle; Stenzel, Mark; Stewart, Bernard W.; Stewart, Patricia A.; Symanski, Elaine; Terracini, Benedetto; Tolbert, Paige E.; Vainio, Harri; Vena, John; Vermeulen, Roel; Victora, Cesar G.; Ward, Elizabeth M.; Weinberg, Clarice R.; Weisenburger, Dennis; Wesseling, Catharina; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Zahm, Shelia Hoar

    2015-01-01

    Background: Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also for the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that failures of IARC Working Groups to recognize study weaknesses and biases of Working Group members have led to inappropriate classification of a number of agents as carcinogenic to humans. Objectives: The authors of this Commentary are scientists from various disciplines relevant to the identification and hazard evaluation of human carcinogens. We examined criticisms of the IARC classification process to determine the validity of these concerns. Here, we present the results of that examination, review the history of IARC evaluations, and describe how the IARC evaluations are performed. Discussion: We concluded that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various disciplines and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has been modified over time and will undoubtedly be altered in the future to improve the process. Any process can in theory be improved, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. This does not mean, however, that the current procedures are flawed. Conclusions: The IARC Monographs have made, and continue to make, major contributions to the scientific underpinning for societal actions to improve the public’s health. Citation: Pearce N, Blair A, Vineis P, Ahrens W, Andersen A, Anto JM, Armstrong BK, Baccarelli AA, Beland FA, Berrington A, Bertazzi PA, Birnbaum LS, Brownson RC, Bucher JR, Cantor KP

  12. Evaluation of two communication strategies to improve udder health management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, J.; Renes, R.J.; Lam, T.J.G.M.

    2010-01-01

    Worldwide, programs to improve udder health are implemented using communication tools and methods that inform and persuade dairy farmers. This study evaluated 2 communication strategies used in a mastitis control program in the Netherlands. To improve farmers’ udder health management, tools such as

  13. Improving Instruction Through Supervision. Evaluation Report 1977-78.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contemporary Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.

    This evaluation report presents the accomplishments of the Improving Instruction Through Supervision Project since its implementation, with specific emphasis on 1977-78. The project was undertaken in Region VI of the District of Columbia Schools and was designed to improve the skills of administrators in supervising teachers. The program is based…

  14. Evaluating Humane Education: The Jefferson County Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Thomas A., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study which analyzes the impact of three different humane education treatments, all examples of traditional programs taught by local humane societies to fifth- and sixth-grade students. Results are compared with similar studies previously conducted. (CS)

  15. Can Human Visual Surveillance be Improved with Intent Recognition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Tavakkoli

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In video surveillance applications, trained operators watch a number of screens simultaneously to detect potential security threats. Looking for such events in real time, in multiple videos simultaneously, is cognitively challenging for human operators. This study suggests that there is a significant need to use an automated video analysis system to aid human perception of security events in video surveillance applications. In this paper the performance of humans in observing a simulated environment is studied and quantified. Furthermore, this paper proposes an automated mechanism to detect events before they occur by means of an automated intent recognition system. Upon the detection of a potential event the proposed mechanism communicates the location of such potential threat to the human operator to redirect attention to the areas of interest within the video. Studying the improvements achieved by applying the intent recognition into the simulated video surveillance application in a two phase trial supports the need for an automated event detection approach in improving human video surveillance performance. Moreover, this paper presents a comparison of the performance in video surveillance with and without the aid of the intent recognition mechanism.

  16. Quality Improvement Project to Improve Patient Satisfaction With Pain Management: Using Human-Centered Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trail-Mahan, Tracy; Heisler, Scott; Katica, Mary

    2016-01-01

    In this quality improvement project, our health system developed a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to improving inpatient pain management and assessed its impact on patient satisfaction across 21 medical centers. Using human-centered design principles, a bundle of 6 individual and team nursing practices was developed. Patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems pain composite score, increased from the 25th to just under the 75th national percentile.

  17. Human physiology: Improving students' achievements through intelligent studyware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dori, Yehudit J.; Yochim, Jerome M.

    1994-12-01

    A studyware comprising a set of interconnected modules on human physiology has been developed and used to improve undergraduate students' achievements. Using the study modules, students can engage in active learning and enhance their spatial and problemsolving abilities, while the system monitors their responses and reacts accordingly. Examples from the Brain and Heart modules of the Human Physiology studyware are presented. The results of the study showed that although students' final grades were correlated with their previous biology course grades, the scores of those students who used the optional computer laboratory sessions were enhanced over those who did not use the studyware.

  18. Performance in Physiology Evaluation: Possible Improvement by Active Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H.

    2016-01-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages…

  19. Adapting Job Analysis Methodology to Improve Evaluation Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Susan M.; Curtin, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    This article describes how job analysis, a method commonly used in personnel research and organizational psychology, provides a systematic method for documenting program staffing and service delivery that can improve evaluators' knowledge about program operations. Job analysis data can be used to increase evaluators' insight into how staffs…

  20. Multi-function displays : a guide for human factors evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    This guide is designed to assist aircraft certification personnel and avionics : manufacturers in evaluating the human factors aspects of Multi-function Displays : (MFDs) for FAA certification. The guide focuses specifically on human factors and : do...

  1. Reflections and Future Prospects for Evaluation in Human Resource Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Heeyoung; Boulay, David

    2013-01-01

    Human resource development (HRD) evaluation has often been criticized for its limited function in organizational decision making. This article reviews evaluation studies to uncover the current status of HRD evaluation literature. The authors further discuss general evaluation theories in terms of value, use, and evaluator role to extend the…

  2. INTEGRATION MECHANISMS OF IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera A. Akimenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the current economic conditions, the efficiency of business processes of an organization is determined by the quality of the staff. Therefore, actual is the creation and application of new approaches to the management of human re-sources. The article presents a comparative analysis of management practices and their impact on the effectiveness of personnel management, the mechanism of their integration to improve the efficiency of the process.

  3. Improving Saliency Models by Predicting Human Fixation Patches

    KAUST Repository

    Dubey, Rachit

    2015-04-16

    There is growing interest in studying the Human Visual System (HVS) to supplement and improve the performance of computer vision tasks. A major challenge for current visual saliency models is predicting saliency in cluttered scenes (i.e. high false positive rate). In this paper, we propose a fixation patch detector that predicts image patches that contain human fixations with high probability. Our proposed model detects sparse fixation patches with an accuracy of 84 % and eliminates non-fixation patches with an accuracy of 84 % demonstrating that low-level image features can indeed be used to short-list and identify human fixation patches. We then show how these detected fixation patches can be used as saliency priors for popular saliency models, thus, reducing false positives while maintaining true positives. Extensive experimental results show that our proposed approach allows state-of-the-art saliency methods to achieve better prediction performance on benchmark datasets.

  4. Improving Emergency Response and Human-Robotic Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David I. Gertman; David J. Bruemmer; R. Scott Hartley

    2007-08-01

    Preparedness for chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear incidents at nuclear power plants (NPPs) includes the deployment of well trained emergency response teams. While teams are expected to do well, data from other domains suggests that the timeliness and accuracy associated with incident response can be improved through collaborative human-robotic interaction. Many incident response scenarios call for multiple, complex procedure-based activities performed by personnel wearing cumbersome personal protective equipment (PPE) and operating under high levels of stress and workload. While robotic assistance is postulated to reduce workload and exposure, limitations associated with communications and the robot’s ability to act independently have served to limit reliability and reduce our potential to exploit human –robotic interaction and efficacy of response. Recent work at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on expanding robot capability has the potential to improve human-system response during disaster management and recovery. Specifically, increasing the range of higher level robot behaviors such as autonomous navigation and mapping, evolving new abstractions for sensor and control data, and developing metaphors for operator control have the potential to improve state-of-the-art in incident response. This paper discusses these issues and reports on experiments underway intelligence residing on the robot to enhance emergency response.

  5. Human Factors Guidelines for the Evaluation of the Locomotive Cab

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-09-01

    This document presents human factors guidelines for the evaluation of the locomotive cab. These guidelines are part of : an effort to evaluate working conditions and safety in the locomotive cab. The guidelines will serve as a decision : making tool ...

  6. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-01-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. PMID:26178332

  7. Evaluation of Human Prehension Using Grasp Quality Measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz León

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the main features of the human hand is its grasping ability. Robot grasping has been studied for years and different quality measures have been proposed to evaluate the stability and manipulability of grasps. Although the human hand is obviously more complex than robot hands, the methods used in robotics might be adopted to study the human grasp. The purpose of this work is to propose a set of measures that allow the evaluation of different aspects of the human grasp. The most common robotic grasp quality measures have been adapted to the evaluation of the human hand and a new quality measure – the fatigue index – is proposed in order to incorporate the biomechanical aspect into the evaluation. The minimum set of indices that allows the evaluation of the different aspects of the grasp is obtained from the analysis of a human prehension experiment.

  8. An Improved AAM Method for Extracting Human Facial Features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhou

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Active appearance model is a statistically parametrical model, which is widely used to extract human facial features and recognition. However, intensity values used in original AAM cannot provide enough information for image texture, which will lead to a larger error or a failure fitting of AAM. In order to overcome these defects and improve the fitting performance of AAM model, an improved texture representation is proposed in this paper. Firstly, translation invariant wavelet transform is performed on face images and then image structure is represented using the measure which is obtained by fusing the low-frequency coefficients with edge intensity. Experimental results show that the improved algorithm can increase the accuracy of the AAM fitting and express more information for structures of edge and texture.

  9. Evaluation and improvement of LAMP assays for detection of

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract: Escherichia coli serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157 are the causative agents of human diseases, and LAMP assays have been developed for detection of the seven leading STEC serogroups. Objective: To evaluate existing LAMP assays for detection of the seven STEC serogroups, ...

  10. Evaluation and improvement of LAMP assays for detection of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract: Escherichia coli serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157 are the causative agents of human diseas- es, and LAMP assays have been developed for detection of the seven leading STEC serogroups. Objective: To evaluate existing LAMP assays for detection of the seven STEC serogroups, ...

  11. Design and Evaluation of Human System Interfaces (HSIs)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-07-01

    In the safe operation of nuclear power plants and other complex process industries the performance of the control room crews plays an important role. In this respect a well-functioning and well-designed Human-System Interface (HSI) is crucial for safe and efficient operation of the plant. It is therefore essential that the design, development and evaluation of both control rooms and HSI-solutions are conducted in a well-structured way, applying sound human factors principles and guidelines in all phases of the HSI development process. Many nuclear power plants around the world are currently facing major modernisation of their control rooms. In this process computerised, screen-based HSIs replace old conventional operator interfaces. In new control rooms, both in the nuclear field and in other process industries, fully digital, screen-based control rooms are becoming the standard. It is therefore of particular importance to address the design and evaluation of screen-based HSIs in a systematic and consistent way in order to arrive at solutions which take proper advantage of the possibilities for improving operator support through the use of digital, screen-based HSIs, at the same time avoiding pitfalls and problems in the use of this technology. The Halden Reactor Project, in cooperation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, organised an International Summer School on ''Design and Evaluation of Human-System Interfaces (HSIs)'' in Halden, Norway in the period August 25th - 29th, 2003. The Summer School addressed the different steps in design, development and evaluation of HSIs, and the human factors principles, standards and guidelines which should be followed in this process. The lectures comprised both theoretical background, as well as examples of good and bad HSI design, thereby providing practical advice in design and evaluation of operator interfaces and control room solutions to the participants in the Summer School. This CD contains the

  12. Instructional scaffolding to improve students' skills in evaluating clinical literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn, Stefani; Dominguez, Karen D; Troutman, William G; Bond, Rucha; Cone, Catherine

    2011-05-10

    To implement and assess the effectiveness of an activity to teach pharmacy students to critically evaluate clinical literature using instructional scaffolding and a Clinical Trial Evaluation Rubric. The literature evaluation activity centered on a single clinical research article and involved individual, small group, and large group instruction, with carefully structured, evidence-based scaffolds and support materials centered around 3 educational themes: (1) the reader's awareness of text organization, (2) contextual/background information and vocabulary, and (3) questioning, prompting, and self-monitoring (metacognition). Students initially read the article, scored it using the rubric, and wrote an evaluation. Students then worked individually using a worksheet to identify and define 4 to 5 vocabulary/concept knowledge gaps. They then worked in small groups and as a class to further improve their skills. Finally, they assessed the same article using the rubric and writing a second evaluation. Students' rubric scores for the article decreased significantly from a mean pre-activity score of 76.7% to a post-activity score of 61.7%, indicating that their skills in identifying weaknesses in the article's study design had improved. Use of instructional scaffolding in the form of vocabulary supports and the Clinical Trial Evaluation Rubric improved students' ability to critically evaluate a clinical study compared to lecture-based coursework alone.

  13. Metaphors of Human Thinking: A New Tool in User Interface Design and Evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frøkjær, Erik; Hornbæk, Kasper

    2003-01-01

    human thinking, inspection technique, usability evaluation, heuristic evaluation, quantitative study......human thinking, inspection technique, usability evaluation, heuristic evaluation, quantitative study...

  14. Sustaining and Improving Study Abroad Experiences Through Comparative Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johanson, Linda S

    Researchers have related participation in study abroad experiences to many positive outcomes for nursing students; however, educators are faced with the task of not only developing meaningful study abroad opportunities but sustaining and improving them as well. Educators can evaluate repeat study abroad programs by comparing experiences, looking for trends, and conjecturing rationales. To illustrate this process, an example of a study abroad opportunity that has been repeated over 11 years is presented. The first six years have been compared to the most recent five years, revealing three categories of change for evaluation and the resulting course improvements.

  15. HUMAN RESOURC EVALUATION: THE INDIAN EXPERIENCE

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sandeep

    2012-01-01

      Human resource is one of the most important resources of any organization. It is equally true that their valuation is one of the most cumbersome tasks and therefore, most of the organizations shy away from their valuation...

  16. Modern approach to improving the math evaluation process

    OpenAIRE

    Atanasova-Pacemska, Tatjana; Jovanovska, Dobrila

    2015-01-01

    Checking and evaluation are someof the most important elements of the learning process, because they provide information to different factors about the extent to which students achieved the previously set educational standards. This paper presents a proposal how to improve the evaluation process in mathematics by using standardized electronic tests created by multimedia software Wondershare quizcreator software. For creating electronic tests, there are various electronic tools to cho...

  17. Policy Decomposition for Evaluation Performance Improvement of PDP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Deng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In conventional centralized authorization models, the evaluation performance of policy decision point (PDP decreases obviously with the growing numbers of rules embodied in a policy. Aiming to improve the evaluation performance of PDP, a distributed policy evaluation engine called XDPEE is presented. In this engine, the unicity of PDP in the centralized authorization model is changed by increasing the number of PDPs. A policy should be decomposed into multiple subpolicies each with fewer rules by using a decomposition method, which can have the advantage of balancing the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP. Policy decomposition is the key problem of the evaluation performance improvement of PDPs. A greedy algorithm with O(nlgn time complexity for policy decomposition is constructed. In experiments, the policy of the LMS, VMS, and ASMS in real applications is decomposed separately into multiple subpolicies based on the greedy algorithm. Policy decomposition guarantees that the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP is equal or approximately equal. Experimental results show that (1 the method of policy decomposition improves the evaluation performance of PDPs effectively and that (2 the evaluation time of PDPs reduces with the growing numbers of PDPs.

  18. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  19. Evaluation du programme sciences humaines (Evaluation of Humanities Programs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quebec Commission on the Evaluation of Collegiate Teaching (Quebec).

    In 1990, social science programs in Quebec's colleges in Canada were revised to standardize core courses and objectives across individual courses. Subsequently, the province's Commission on the Evaluation of Collegiate Teaching undertook an evaluation of the revised program to determine its administration and effectiveness, as well as the…

  20. Laboratory evaluation of the improved tube test detection limits for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In Kenya there is currently no screening of antimicrobial drug residues in milk. This study evaluated the improved tube test as a possible screening method using seven representatives of the β-lactam antibiotics. The group comprises antimicrobials most frequently used to treat bacterial infections in dairy cows.

  1. Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas L. LAM) varieties in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. ... There was incidence of diseases but that of insects was low. For fresh root phenotypic characteristics, Ex-Igbariam and 199004-2 had yellow flesh, indicative of the presence of vitamin A precursor.

  2. Continuous curricular feedback: a formative evaluation approach to curricular improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldfarb, Stanley; Morrison, Gail

    2014-02-01

    Curriculum evaluations are used to plan future revisions and other improvements in curriculum design. Most models are summative and occur at the end of a course, so improvements in instruction may be delayed. In this article, the authors describe the formative curriculum evaluation model adopted at the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In their model, representative student feedback is gathered in real time and used to modify courses and improve instruction. The central features of their continuous feedback model include developing a small cadre of preclinical and clinical student evaluators who are trained to obtain classwide input regarding all aspects of the curriculum, including teacher effectiveness, and meet regularly (weekly or monthly) with relevant faculty and administrators. The authors show how this curriculum evaluation approach maximizes student involvement in course development and provides opportunities for rapid improvements in course content and instruction as well as for the identification of barriers to effective clinical and preclinical educational experiences.

  3. Improving Education in Developing Countries: Lessons From Rigorous Impact Evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganimian, Alejandro J.; Murnane, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we reviewed and interpreted the evidence from 223 rigorous impact evaluations of educational initiatives conducted in 56 low- and middle-income countries. We considered for inclusion in our review all studies in recent syntheses that have reached seemingly conflicting conclusions about which interventions improve educational…

  4. Evaluation of Glider Coatings against Biofouling for Improved Flight Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-30

    We received 10 different samples from UCSD/Scripps, operating the spray glider . There was one sample from Webb Research Inc., operating the slocum ...three glider types (Spray, Slocum , and Seaglider) in the biofoulingassessment field site in Morro Bay, CA. Samples will be maintained and...DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Evaluation of Glider Coatings against Biofouling for Improved

  5. Evaluation of suckling and post weaning practices for improving ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    Evaluation of suckling and post weaning practices for improving reproductive efficiency in Nepalese Pakhribas pigs ... competition. It also helps to take the pressure off a good milking sow, which will help to minimise the weight loss and restore positive nutrient balance just before weaning. (English, 1988). However, this ...

  6. Student Evaluations of Teaching: Improving Teaching Quality in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammonds, Frank; Mariano, Gina J.; Ammons, Gracie; Chambers, Sheridan

    2017-01-01

    Student evaluations of teaching (SET) are widely used in both North America and the UK as a means of documenting and improving teaching quality. This article discusses current research on SET administration and interpretation in both regions. Sections of the article are dedicated to various problems associated with SETs and how these may be…

  7. participatory evaluation of improved sweetpotato varieties in eastern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of improved sweetpotaio varieties by farmers, through assessing the performance of the tested varieties under farmers' condition and investigating thc criteria used by farmers in the selection of sweetpotato varieties. A.E. MASUMBA et al. MATERIALS AND METHODS.

  8. Introduction and evaluation of improved banana cultivars for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction and evaluation of improved banana cultivars for agronomic and yield characteristics in Kenya. ... Banana (Musa spp.) is one of the most important food and cash crops in Kenya. However, most of the cultivars grown particulary the local ones are low yielders and ... maturity, while FHIA 23 took the shortest time.

  9. Vertical footbridge vibrations: Towards an improved and codifiable response evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingólfsson, Einar Thór; Georgakis, Christos; Jönsson, Jeppe

    2007-01-01

    An improved and codifiable footbridge response evaluation is presented herewith, in which peak vertical accelerations are provided as a function of load return period in the form of response spectra. To achieve this, a series of Monte Carlo simulations are employed to generate vertical loads indu...

  10. Improvement of human operator vibroprotection system in the utility machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korchagin, P. A.; Teterina, I. A.; Rahuba, L. F.

    2018-01-01

    The article is devoted to an urgent problem of improving efficiency of road-building utility machines in terms of improving human operator vibroprotection system by determining acceptable values of the rigidity coefficients and resistance coefficients of operator’s cab suspension system elements and those of operator’s seat. Negative effects of vibration result in labour productivity decrease and occupational diseases. Besides, structure vibrations have a damaging impact on the machine units and mechanisms, which leads to reducing an overall service life of the machine. Results of experimental and theoretical research of operator vibroprotection system in the road-building utility machine are presented. An algorithm for the program to calculate dynamic impacts on the operator in terms of different structural and performance parameters of the machine and considering combination of external pertrubation influences was proposed.

  11. A collaborative brain-computer interface for improving human performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

    Full Text Available Electroencephalogram (EEG based brain-computer interfaces (BCI have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1 Event-related potentials (ERP averaging, (2 Feature concatenating, and (3 Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100-250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC, which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior.

  12. Improving Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation by incorporating nondominated solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Kian Sheng; Ibrahim, Zuwairie; Buyamin, Salinda; Ahmad, Anita; Naim, Faradila; Ghazali, Kamarul Hawari; Mokhtar, Norrima

    2013-01-01

    The Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is widely used to solve multiobjective optimisation problems. This algorithm optimises one objective using a swarm of particles where their movements are guided by the best solution found by another swarm. However, the best solution of a swarm is only updated when a newly generated solution has better fitness than the best solution at the objective function optimised by that swarm, yielding poor solutions for the multiobjective optimisation problems. Thus, an improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is introduced by incorporating the nondominated solutions as the guidance for a swarm rather than using the best solution from another swarm. In this paper, the performance of improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm is investigated using performance measures such as the number of nondominated solutions found, the generational distance, the spread, and the hypervolume. The results suggest that the improved Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm has impressive performance compared with the conventional Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm.

  13. Evaluation of an institutional project to improve venous thromboembolism prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minami, Christina A; Yang, Anthony D; Ju, Mila; Culver, Eckford; Seifert, Kathryn; Kreutzer, Lindsey; Halverson, Terri; O'Leary, Kevin J; Bilimoria, Karl Y

    2016-12-01

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) was historically a poor performer on the venous thromboembolism (VTE) outcome measure. As this measure has been shown to be flawed by surveillance bias, NMH embraced process-of-care measures to ensure appropriate VTE prophylaxis to assess healthcare-associated VTE prevention efforts. To evaluate the impact of an institution-wide project aimed at improving hospital performance on VTE prophylaxis measures. A retrospective observational study. NMH, an 885-bed academic medical center in Chicago, Illinois PATIENTS: Inpatients admitted to NMH from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013 and from October 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015 were eligible for evaluation. Using the define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) process-improvement methodology, a multidisciplinary team implemented and iteratively improved 15 data-driven interventions in 4 broad areas: (1) electronic medical record (EMR) alerts, (2) education initiatives, (3) new EMR order sets, and (4) other EMR changes. The Joint Commission's 6 core measures and the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) SCIP-VTE-2 measure. Based on 3103 observations (1679 from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013, and 1424 from October 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015), performance on the core measures improved. Performance on measure 1 (chemoprophylaxis) improved from 82.5% to 90.2% on medicine services, and from 94.4% to 97.6% on surgical services. The largest improvements were seen in measure 4 (platelet monitoring), with a performance increase from 76.7% adherence to 100%, and measure 5 (warfarin discharge instructions), with a performance increase from 27.4% to 88.8%. A systematic hospital-wide DMAIC project improved VTE prophylaxis measure performance. Sustained performance has been observed, and novel control mechanisms for continued performance surveillance have been embedded in the hospital system. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:S29-S37. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine. © 2016 Society of Hospital

  14. The Effectiveness of Human Resource Management on Improving the Performance of Education Staff

    OpenAIRE

    Reza Alami, Lincoln University College Malaysia, Branch Iran; Reza Sohaei, Lincoln University College Malaysia, Branch Iran; Abdul Karim Maleki Berneti, Education and Training District 2 Sari, Mazandaran, Iran; Ali Younesi, Education and Training District 2 Sari, Mazandaran, Iran; Milad Farnia, University Payam Noor Branch Sari, Iran; Hassan Mirzajani , Department of Educational Studies, University Putra Malaysia

    2015-01-01

    This study examines and analyzes the role of human resources management on improving the effectiveness of education staff. The aim of this study is to analyze the main indicators of organizational management that includes5subscales, searching for staff, staff recruitment and selection, design and implementation of training programs, employee performance evaluation and training of trainers in the organizational unit. For this purpose, 120 people from statistical community of admini...

  15. Manipulation of Carotenoid Content in Plants to Improve Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alós, Enriqueta; Rodrigo, Maria Jesús; Zacarias, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids are essential components for human nutrition and health, mainly due to their antioxidant and pro-vitamin A activity. Foods with enhanced carotenoid content and composition are essential to ensure carotenoid feasibility in malnourished population of many countries around the world, which is critical to alleviate vitamin A deficiency and other health-related disorders. The pathway of carotenoid biosynthesis is currently well understood, key steps of the pathways in different plant species have been characterized and the corresponding genes identified, as well as other regulatory elements. This enables the manipulation and improvement of carotenoid content and composition in order to control the nutritional value of a number of agronomical important staple crops. Biotechnological and genetic engineering-based strategies to manipulate carotenoid metabolism have been successfully implemented in many crops, with Golden rice as the most relevant example of β-carotene improvement in one of the more widely consumed foods. Conventional breeding strategies have been also adopted in the bio-fortification of carotenoid in staple foods that are highly consumed in developing countries, including maize, cassava and sweet potatoes, to alleviate nutrition-related problems. The objective of the chapter is to summarize major breakthroughs and advances in the enhancement of carotenoid content and composition in agronomical and nutritional important crops, with special emphasis to their potential impact and benefits in human nutrition and health.

  16. Improving Vector Evaluated Particle Swarm Optimisation Using Multiple Nondominated Leaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Kian Sheng; Buyamin, Salinda; Ahmad, Anita; Shapiai, Mohd Ibrahim; Naim, Faradila; Mubin, Marizan; Kim, Dong Hwa

    2014-01-01

    The vector evaluated particle swarm optimisation (VEPSO) algorithm was previously improved by incorporating nondominated solutions for solving multiobjective optimisation problems. However, the obtained solutions did not converge close to the Pareto front and also did not distribute evenly over the Pareto front. Therefore, in this study, the concept of multiple nondominated leaders is incorporated to further improve the VEPSO algorithm. Hence, multiple nondominated solutions that are best at a respective objective function are used to guide particles in finding optimal solutions. The improved VEPSO is measured by the number of nondominated solutions found, generational distance, spread, and hypervolume. The results from the conducted experiments show that the proposed VEPSO significantly improved the existing VEPSO algorithms. PMID:24883386

  17. Motivation for Evaluation: A roadmap for Improving Program Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taber, J. J.; Bohon, W.; Bravo, T. K.; Dorr, P. M.; Hubenthal, M.; Johnson, J. A.; Sumy, D. F.; Welti, R.; Davis, H. B.

    2016-12-01

    Over the past year, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program has undertaken a new effort to increase the rigor with which it evaluates its programs and products. More specifically we sought to make evaluation an integral part of our EPO staff's work, enable staff to demonstrate why we do the activities we do, enhance the impact or our products and programs, and empower staff to be able to make evidence-based claims. The challenges we faced included a modest budget, finding an applicable approach to both new and legacy programs ranging from formal and informal education to public outreach, and implementing the process without overwhelming staff. The Collaborative Impact Analysis Method (IAM; Davis and Scalice, 2015) was selected as it allowed us to combine the EPO staff's knowledge of programs, audiences and content with the expertise of an outside evaluation expert, through consultations and a qualitative rubric assessing the initial state of each product/program's evaluation. Staff then developed action plans to make incremental improvements to the evaluation of programs over time. We have found that this approach promotes the development of staff knowledge and skills regarding evaluation, provides a common language among staff, increases enthusiasm to collect and share data, encourages discussions of evaluative approaches when planning new activities, and improves each program's ability to capture the intended and unintended effects on the behaviors, attitudes, skills, interests, and/or knowledge of users/participants. We will share the initial IAM Scores for products and programs in the EPO portfolio, along with examples of the action plans for several key products and programs, and the impact that implementing those actions plans has had on our evaluations. Davis, H. & Scalice, D. (2015). Evaluate the Impact of your Education and Outreach Program Using the Quantitative Collaborative Impact Analysis

  18. Defining cell culture conditions to improve human norovirus infectivity assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straub, Tim M. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Bartholomew, Rachel A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Valdez, Catherine O. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Valentine, Nancy B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Dohnalkova, Alice [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Ozanich, Richard M. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-01-10

    Significant difficulties remain for determining whether human noroviruses (hNoV) recovered from water, food, and environmental samples are infectious. Three-dimensional tissue culture of human intestinal cells has shown promise in developing an infectivity assay, but reproducibility, even within a single laboratory, remains problematic. From the literature and our observations, we hypothesized that the common factors that leads to more reproducible hNoV infectivity in vitro requires that the cell line be 1) of human gastrointestinal origin, 2) expresses apical microvilli, and 3) be a positive secretor cell line. The C2BBe1 cell line, which is a brush-border producing clone of Caco-2, meets these three criteria. When challenged with Genogroup II viruses, we observed a 2 Log10 increase in viral RNA titer. A passage experiment with GII viruses showed evidence of the ability to propagate hNoV by both reverse transcription quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and microscopy. Using 3-D C2BBe1 cells improves reproducibility of the infectivity assay for hNoV, but the assay can still be variable. Two sources of variability include the cells themselves (mixed phenotypes of small and large intestine) and initial titer measurements using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) that measures all RNA vs. plaque assays that measure infectious virus.

  19. [Human factors and crisis resource management: improving patient safety].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rall, M; Oberfrank, S

    2013-10-01

    A continuing high number of patients suffer harm from medical treatment. In 60-70% of the cases the sources of harm can be attributed to the field of human factors (HFs) and teamwork; nevertheless, those topics are still neither part of medical education nor of basic and advanced training even though it has been known for many years and it has meanwhile also been demonstrated for surgical specialties that training in human factors and teamwork considerably reduces surgical mortality.Besides the medical field, the concept of crisis resource management (CRM) has already proven its worth in many other industries by improving teamwork and reducing errors in the domain of human factors. One of the best ways to learn about CRM and HFs is realistic simulation team training with well-trained instructors in CRM and HF. The educational concept of the HOTT (hand over team training) courses for trauma room training offered by the DGU integrates these elements based on the current state of science. It is time to establish such training for all medical teams in emergency medicine and operative care. Accompanying safety measures, such as the development of a positive culture of safety in every department and the use of effective critical incident reporting systems (CIRs) should be pursued.

  20. IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pearce, Neil; Blair, Aaron; Vineis, Paolo; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Andersen, Aage; Anto, Josep M.; Armstrong, Bruce K.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Beland, Frederick A.; Berrington, Amy; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto; Birnbaum, Linda S.; Brownson, Ross C.; Bucher, John R.; Cantor, Kenneth P.; Cardis, Elisabeth; Cherrie, John W.; Christiani, David C.; Cocco, Pierluigi; Coggon, David; Comba, Pietro; Demers, Paul A.; Dement, John M.; Douwes, Jeroen; Eisen, Ellen A.; Engel, Lawrence S.; Fenske, Richard A.; Fleming, Lora E.; Fletcher, Tony; Fontham, Elizabeth; Forastiere, Francesco; Frentzel-Beyme, Rainer; Fritschi, Lin; Gerin, Michel; Goldberg, Marcel; Grandjean, Philippe; Grimsrud, Tom K.; Gustavsson, Per; Haines, Andy; Hartge, Patricia; Hansen, Johnni; Hauptmann, Michael; Heederik, Dick; Hemminki, Kari; Hemon, Denis; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hoppin, Jane A.; Huff, James; Jarvholm, Bengt; Kang, Daehee; Karagas, Margaret R.; Kjaerheim, Kristina; Kjuus, Helge; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; Kristensen, Petter; Kromhout, Hans; Laden, Francine; Lebailly, Pierre; LeMasters, Grace; Lubin, Jay H.; Lynch, Charles F.; Lynge, Elsebeth; 't Mannetje, Andrea; McMichael, Anthony J.; McLaughlin, John R.; Marrett, Loraine; Martuzzi, Marco; Merchant, James A.; Merler, Enzo; Merletti, Franco; Miller, Anthony; Mirer, Franklin E.; Monson, Richard; Nordby, Karl-Cristian; Olshan, Andrew F.; Parent, Marie-Elise; Perera, Frederica P.; Perry, Melissa J.; Pesatori, Angela Cecilia; Pirastu, Roberta; Porta, Miquel; Pukkala, Eero; Rice, Carol; Richardson, David B.; Ritter, Leonard; Ritz, Beate; Ronckers, Cecile M.; Rushton, Lesley; Rusiecki, Jennifer A.; Rusyn, Ivan; Samet, Jonathan M.; Sandler, Dale P.; de Sanjose, Silvia; Schernhammer, Eva; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Seixas, Noah; Shy, Carl; Siemiatycki, Jack; Silverman, Debra T.; Simonato, Lorenzo; Smith, Allan H.; Smith, Martyn T.; Spinelli, John J.; Spitz, Margaret R.; Stallones, Lorann; Stayner, Leslie T.; Steenland, Kyle; Stenzel, Mark; Stewart, Bernard W.; Stewart, Patricia A.; Symanski, Elaine; Terracini, Benedetto; Tolbert, Paige E.; Vainio, Harri; Vena, John; Vermeulen, Roel; Victora, Cesar G.; Ward, Elizabeth M.; Weinberg, Clarice R.; Weisenburger, Dennis; Wesseling, Catharina; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Zahm, Shelia Hoar

    2015-01-01

    Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also for the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that failures of IARC Working

  1. IARC Monographs: 40 Years of Evaluating Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pearce, Neil E; Blair, Aaron; Vineis, Paolo; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Andersen, Aage; Anto, Josep M; Armstrong, Bruce K; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Beland, Frederick A; Berrington, Amy; Bertazzi, Pier A; Birnbaum, Linda S; Brownson, Ross C; Bucher, John R; Cantor, Kenneth P; Cardis, Elisabeth; Cherrie, John W; Christiani, David C; Cocco, Pierluigi; Coggon, David; Comba, Pietro; Demers, Paul A; Dement, John M; Douwes, Jeroen; Eisen, Ellen A; Engel, Lawrence S; Fenske, Richard A; Fleming, Lora E; Fletcher, Tony; Fontham, Elizabeth; Forastiere, Francesco; Frentzel-Beyme, Rainer; Fritschi, Lin; Gerin, Michel; Goldberg, Marcel; Grandjean, Philippe; Grimsrud, Tom K; Gustavsson, Per; Haines, Andy; Hartge, Patricia; Hansen, Johnni; Hauptmann, Michael; Heederik, Dick; Hemminki, Kari; Hemon, Denis; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hoppin, Jane A; Huff, James; Jarvholm, Bengt; Kang, Daehee; Karagas, Margaret R; Kjaerheim, Kristina; Kjuus, Helge; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; Kristensen, Petter; Kromhout, Hans; Laden, Francine; Lebailly, Pierre; LeMasters, Grace; Lubin, Jay H; Lynch, Charles F; Lynge, Elsebeth; 't Mannetje, Andrea; McMichael, Anthony J; McLaughlin, John R; Marrett, Loraine; Martuzzi, Marco; Merchant, James A; Merler, Enzo; Merletti, Franco; Miller, Anthony; Mirer, Franklin E; Monson, Richard; Nordby, Karl-Kristian; Olshan, Andrew F; Parent, Marie-Elise; Perera, Frederica P; Perry, Melissa J; Pesatori, Angela C; Pirastu, Roberta; Porta, Miquel; Pukkala, Eero; Rice, Carol; Richardson, David B; Ritter, Leonard; Ritz, Beate; Ronckers, Cecile M; Rushton, Lesley; Rusiecki, Jennifer A; Rusyn, Ivan; Samet, Jonathan M; Sandler, Dale P; de Sanjose, Silvia; Schernhammer, Eva; Seniori Constantini, Adele; Seixas, Noah; Shy, Carl; Siemiatycki, Jack; Silvermann, Debra T; Simonato, Lorenzo; Smith, Allan H; Smith, Martyn T; Spinelli, John J; Spitz, Margaret R; Stallones, Lorann; Stayner, Leslie T; Steenland, Kyle; Stenzel, Mark; Stewart, Bernard W; Stewart, Patricia A; Symanski, Elaine; Terracini, Benedetto; Tolbert, Paige E; Vainio, Harri; Vena, John; Vermeulen, Roel; Victora, Cesar G; Ward, Elizabeth M; Weinberg, Clarice R; Weisenburger, Dennis; Wesseling, Catharina; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Zahm, Shelia H

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recently the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that IARC Working Groups'

  2. Performance in physiology evaluation: possible improvement by active learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages interaction with their peers, and stimulates thinking about physiological mechanisms. This study examined the performance of medical students on physiology over four semesters with and without active engagement methodologies. Four activities were used: a puzzle, a board game, a debate, and a video. The results show that engaging in activities with active methodologies before a physiology cognitive monitoring test significantly improved student performance compared with not performing the activities. We integrate the use of these methodologies with classic lectures, and this integration appears to improve the teaching/learning process in the discipline of physiology and improves the integration of physiology with cardiology and neurology. In addition, students enjoy the activities and perform better on their evaluations when they use them. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  3. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiang S.-Y.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts.Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study. Improvability theory addresses the questions of improving performance in production systems with unreliable machines. We consider both constrained and unconstrained improvability. In the constrained case, the problem consists of determining if there exists a re-distribution of resources (inventory and workforce, which leads to an increase in the system's production rate. In the unconstrained case, the problem consists of identifying a machine and a buffer, which impede the system performance in the strongest manner. The investigation of the improvability properties requires an expression for the system performance measures as functions of the machine and buffer parameters. This paper presents a method for evaluating these functions and illustrates their practical utility using a case study at an automotive components plant. Part II uses the method developed here to establish conditions of improvability and to describe additional results of the case study.

  4. A portfolio evaluation framework for air transportation improvement projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baik, Hyeoncheol

    This thesis explores the application of portfolio theory to the Air Transportation System (ATS) improvement. The ATS relies on complexly related resources and different stakeholder groups. Moreover, demand for air travel is significantly increasing relative to capacity of air transportation. In this environment, improving the ATS is challenging. Many projects, which are defined as technologies or initiatives, for improvement have been proposed and some have been demonstrated in practice. However, there is no clear understanding of how well these projects work in different conditions nor of how they interact with each other or with existing systems. These limitations make it difficult to develop good project combinations, or portfolios that maximize improvement. To help address this gap, a framework for identifying good portfolios is proposed. The framework can be applied to individual projects or portfolios of projects. Projects or portfolios are evaluated using four different groups of factors (effectiveness, time-to-implement, scope of applicability, and stakeholder impacts). Portfolios are also evaluated in terms of interaction-determining factors (prerequisites, co-requisites, limiting factors, and amplifying factors) because, while a given project might work well in isolation, interdependencies between projects or with existing systems could result in lower overall performance in combination. Ways to communicate a portfolio to decision makers are also introduced. The framework is unique because (1) it allows using a variety of available data, and (2) it covers diverse benefit metrics. For demonstrating the framework, an application to ground delay management projects serves as a case study. The portfolio evaluation approach introduced in this thesis can aid decision makers and researchers at universities and aviation agencies such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Department of Defense (DoD), in

  5. Evaluating investment in quality improvement capacity building: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mery, Gustavo; Dobrow, Mark J; Baker, G Ross; Im, Jennifer; Brown, Adalsteinn

    2017-02-20

    Leading health systems have invested in substantial quality improvement (QI) capacity building, but little is known about the aggregate effect of these investments at the health system level. We conducted a systematic review to identify key steps and elements that should be considered for system-level evaluations of investment in QI capacity building. We searched for evaluations of QI capacity building and evaluations of QI training programmes. We included the most relevant indexed databases in the field and a strategic search of the grey literature. The latter included direct electronic scanning of 85 relevant government and institutional websites internationally. Data were extracted regarding evaluation design and common assessment themes and components. 48 articles met the inclusion criteria. 46 articles described initiative-level non-economic evaluations of QI capacity building/training, while 2 studies included economic evaluations of QI capacity building/training, also at the initiative level. No system-level QI capacity building/training evaluations were found. We identified 17 evaluation components that fit within 5 overarching dimensions (characteristics of QI training; characteristics of QI activity; individual capacity; organisational capacity and impact) that should be considered in evaluations of QI capacity building. 8 key steps in return-on-investment (ROI) assessments in QI capacity building were identified: (1) planning-stakeholder perspective; (2) planning-temporal perspective; (3) identifying costs; (4) identifying benefits; (5) identifying intangible benefits that will not be included in the ROI estimation; (6) discerning attribution; (7) ROI calculations; (8) sensitivity analysis. The literature on QI capacity building evaluation is limited in the number and scope of studies. Our findings, summarised in a Framework to Guide Evaluations of QI Capacity Building, can be used to start closing this knowledge gap. Published by the BMJ Publishing

  6. Morphological evaluation of normal human corneal epithelium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehlers, Niels; Heegaard, Steffen; Hjortdal, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    eyes were evaluated. The central epithelial, stromal and total corneal thickness was measured as 36.0 µm, 618 µm and 651µm, respectively, with a variation coefficient from 0.21 to 0.22. Pathological appearances were found in 27% of corneas, including thickened basement membrane and alterations...

  7. Human Genome Epidemiology : A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Boccia

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available

    Human health is determined by the interplay of genetic factors and the environment. In this context the recent advances in human genomics are expected to play a central role in medicine and public health by providing genetic information for disease prediction and prevention.

    After the completion of the human genome sequencing, a fundamental step will be represented by the translation of these discoveries into meaningful actions to improve health and prevent diseases, and the field of epidemiology plays a central role in this effort. These are some of the issues addressed by Human Genome Epidemiology –A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease, a volume edited by Prof. M. Khoury, Prof. J. Little, Prof.W. Burke and published by Oxford university Press 2004.

    This book describes the important role that epidemiological methods play in the continuum from gene discovery to the development and application of genetic tests. The Authors calls this continuum human genome epidemiology (HuGE to denote an evolving field of inquiry that uses systematic applications of epidemiological methods to assess the impact of human genetic variation on health and disease.

    The book is divided into four sections and it is structured to allow readers to proceed systematically from the fundamentals of genome technology and discovery, to the epidemiological approaches, to gene characterisation, to the evaluation of genetic tests and their use in health services and public health.

  8. Evaluation of multimodal feedback effects on improving rowing competencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korman Maria

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on the selection and preliminary evaluation of different types of modal and information feedback in virtual environment to facilitate acquisition and transfer of a complex motor-cognitive skill of rowing. Specifically, we addressed the effectiveness of immediate information feedback provided visually as compared to sensory haptic feedback on the improvement in hands kinematics and changes in cognitive load during the course of learning the basic rowing technique. Several pilot experiments described in this report lead to the evaluation and optimization of the training protocol, to enhance facilitatory effects of adding visual and haptic feedback during training.

  9. Photoacoustic evaluation of human inflammatory arthritis in human joints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Janggun; Xu, Guan; Marquardt, April; Girish, Gandikota; Wang, Xueding

    2017-03-01

    Photoacoustic (PA) imaging combined with ultrasonography (US) holds promise to offer a novel and powerful tool for clinical management of inflammatory arthritis, including early detection and treatment monitoring. As a complement to US, PA imaging can assess additional hemodynamic changes in inflammatory synovium, including hyperemia and hypoxia, both important and early physiological biomarkers of synovitis reflecting the increased metabolic demand and the relatively inadequate oxygen delivery of the inflammatory synovial tissue. In this study on arthritis patients and normal volunteers, the targeted metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints were imaged using our real-time US-PA dual-modality imaging system. The blood volume and the blood oxygenation in the segmented synovium were quantified, and the results from the arthritis patients were compared to those from the normal volunteers. This initial study on human subjects demonstrated that PA imaging, by working at the optical wavelengths that are sensitive to oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, is capable of identifying and characterizing inflammation in joints based on the detection of hemodynamic changes.

  10. Criteria for the Evaluation of Quality Improvement Programs and the Use of Quality Improvement Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    American Psychologist, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This document provides a set of criteria to be used by psychologists in evaluating quality improvement programs (QIPs) that have been promulgated by health care organizations, government agencies, professional associations, or other entities. These criteria also address the privacy and confidentiality issues evoked by the intended use of patient…

  11. Medication use evaluation: pharmacist rubric for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanikos, John; Jenkins, Kathryn L; Piazza, Gregory; Connors, Jean; Goldhaber, Samuel Z

    2014-12-01

    Despite rigorous expert review, medications often fall into routine use with unrecognized and unwanted complications. Use of some medications remains controversial because information to support efficacy is conflicting, scant, or nonexistent. Medication use evaluation (MUE) is a performance improvement tool that can be used when there is uncertainty regarding whether a medication will be beneficial. It is particularly useful when limited evidence is available on how best to choose between two or more medications. MUEs can analyze the process of medication prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration, and monitoring. MUEs can be part of a structured or mandated multidisciplinary quality management program that focuses on evaluating medication effectiveness and improving patient safety. Successful MUE programs have a structure in place to support completion of rapid-cycle data collection, analysis, and intervention that supports practice change. © 2014 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.

  12. Social Distance Evaluation in Human Parietal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamakawa, Yoshinori; Kanai, Ryota; Matsumura, Michikazu; Naito, Eiichi

    2009-01-01

    Across cultures, social relationships are often thought of, described, and acted out in terms of physical space (e.g. “close friends” “high lord”). Does this cognitive mapping of social concepts arise from shared brain resources for processing social and physical relationships? Using fMRI, we found that the tasks of evaluating social compatibility and of evaluating physical distances engage a common brain substrate in the parietal cortex. The present study shows the possibility of an analytic brain mechanism to process and represent complex networks of social relationships. Given parietal cortex's known role in constructing egocentric maps of physical space, our present findings may help to explain the linguistic, psychological and behavioural links between social and physical space. PMID:19204791

  13. Evaluating practice-based learning and improvement: efforts to improve acceptance of portfolios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragneto, Regina Y; Dilorenzo, Amy Noel; Schell, Randall M; Bowe, Edwin A

    2010-12-01

    The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recommends resident portfolios as 1 method for assessing competence in practice-based learning and improvement. In July 2005, when anesthesiology residents in our department were required to start a portfolio, the residents and their faculty advisors did not readily accept this new requirement. Intensive education efforts addressing the goals and importance of portfolios were undertaken. We hypothesized that these educational efforts improved acceptance of the portfolio and retrospectively audited the portfolio evaluation forms completed by faculty advisors. Intensive education about the goals and importance of portfolios began in January 2006, including presentations at departmental conferences and one-on-one education sessions. Faculty advisors were instructed to evaluate each resident's portfolio and complete a review form. We retrospectively collected data to determine the percentage of review forms completed by faculty. The portfolio reviews also assessed the percentage of 10 required portfolio components residents had completed. Portfolio review forms were completed by faculty advisors for 13% (5/38) of residents during the first advisor-advisee meeting in December 2005. Initiation of intensive education efforts significantly improved compliance, with review forms completed for 68% (26/38) of residents in May 2006 (P portfolios between May and December of 2006. Portfolios are considered a best methods technique by the ACGME for evaluation of practice-based learning and improvment. We have found that intensive education about the goals and importance of portfolios can enhance acceptance of this evaluation tool, resulting in improved compliance in completion and evaluation of portfolios.

  14. A Human Factors Evaluation of Exoskeleton Boot Interface Sole Thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    Abduction Adduction Adduction Abduction Flexion Extension Flexion Extension Dorsiflexion Plantarflexion 23 Appendix B. Comfort, Stability, and...sense is affected by shoe sole thickness but only in dorsiflexion . Our investigation sought to identify, through biomechanical evaluation, human

  15. Breast cancer practice guidelines: evaluation and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edge, S B

    1997-11-01

    The utility of practice guidelines in breast cancer management remains unproved. This paper examines the scope and goals of published guidelines and their utility in the process of breast cancer treatment quality improvement. Although existing breast cancer guidelines vary widely in scope and intent, they provide a framework for meaningful quality-of-care evaluation. Among the few comprehensive breast cancer guideline programs are those developed by the Ontario Cancer Treatment Practice Guidelines Initiative, the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Ultimately, guidelines will prove useful only if they are utilized as part of a comprehensive program to improve quality, cost-effectiveness, and outcomes. To accomplish this, they must include mechanisms for revision and evaluation. The evaluation of guideline utility in quality improvement, particularly in breast cancer care, is a complex long-term process, which should include input from practitioners, institutions, payors, and government.

  16. Evaluation of an improved air distribution system for aircraft cabin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pang, Liping; Xu, Jie; Fang, Lei

    2013-01-01

    An improved air distribution system for aircraft cabin was proposed in this paper. Personalized outlets were introduced and placed at the bottom of the baggage hold. Its ratio of fresh air to recirculation air and the conditioned temperature of different types of inlets were also designed carefully...... to meet the goals of high air quality, thermal comfort and energy saving. Some experiments were conducted to evaluate and compare its performances with two other systems. First the Flow Visualization with Green Laser (FVGL) technology was used to analyze the air flow. The top-in-side bottom-out pattern...... results suggest that personalized inlet should be designed to adjust its supply air angle according to the height of the passenger's face to provide a higher fresh air utilization effectiveness and better air quality for passengers in the improved pattern. Some simulations revealed that the improved...

  17. A Human Capabilities Framework for Evaluating Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Melanie

    2008-01-01

    This paper proposes a human capabilities approach for evaluating student learning and the social and pedagogical arrangements that support equality in capabilities for all students. It outlines the focus on valuable beings and doings in the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen, and Martha Nussbaum's capabilities focus on human flourishing.…

  18. Improving flight condition situational awareness through Human Centered Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Carol

    2012-01-01

    In aviation, there is currently a lack of accurate and timely situational information, specifically weather data, which is essential when dealing with the unpredictable complexities that can arise while flying. For example, weather conditions that require immediate evasive action by the flight crew, such as isolated heavy rain, micro bursts, and atmospheric turbulence, require that the flight crew receive near real-time and precise information about the type, position, and intensity of those conditions. Human factors issues arise in considering how to display the various sources of weather information to the users of that information and how to integrate this display into the existing environment. In designing weather information display systems, it is necessary to meet the demands of different users, which requires an examination of the way in which the users process and use weather information. Using Human Centered Design methodologies and concepts will result in a safer, more efficient and more intuitive solution. Specific goals of this approach include 1) Enabling better fuel planning; 2) Allowing better divert strategies; 3) Ensuring pilots, navigators, dispatchers and mission planners are referencing weather from the same sources; 4) Improving aircrew awareness of aviation hazards such as turbulence, icing, hail and convective activity; 5) Addressing inconsistent availability of hazard forecasts outside the United States Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ); and 6) Promoting goal driven approaches versus event driven (prediction).

  19. Improving animal and human health through understanding liver fluke immunology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piedrafita, D; Spithill, T W; Smith, R E; Raadsma, H W

    2010-08-01

    Sheep, goats and cattle represent the most numerous and economically important agricultural species worldwide used as sources for milk, fibre and red meat. In addition, in the developing world, these species often represent the sole asset base for small-holder livestock farmers and cattle/buffaloes often provide the majority of draught power for crop production. Production losses caused by helminth diseases of these animals are a major factor in extending the cycle of poverty in developing countries and a major food security issue for developed economies. Fasciola spp. are one of the most important zoonotic diseases with a global economic impact in livestock production systems and a poorly defined but direct effect on human health. Improvements in human and animal health will require a concerted research effort into the development of new accurate and simple diagnostic tests and increased vaccine and drug development against Fasciola infections. Here, the use of definitive natural host breeds with contrasting resistance to Fasciola infections is discussed as a resource to contrast parasite-host interactions and identify parasite immune evasion strategies. Such studies are likely to boost the discovery of new vaccine, drug and diagnostic candidates and provide the foundation for future genetic selection of resistant animals.

  20. THE WAYS TO IMPROVE STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURSE MANAGEMENT OF UKRAINIAN BANKS

    OpenAIRE

    M. Sytnytskyi

    2014-01-01

    The main elements and issues of strategic human resource management of banking institutions are summarised. Directions improvement of strategic human resource management of domestic banking institutions through the development of a universal system of strategic human resource management are proposed.

  1. Mechanical stimulation improves tissue-engineered human skeletal muscle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Courtney A.; Smiley, Beth L.; Mills, John; Vandenburgh, Herman H.

    2002-01-01

    Human bioartificial muscles (HBAMs) are tissue engineered by suspending muscle cells in collagen/MATRIGEL, casting in a silicone mold containing end attachment sites, and allowing the cells to differentiate for 8 to 16 days. The resulting HBAMs are representative of skeletal muscle in that they contain parallel arrays of postmitotic myofibers; however, they differ in many other morphological characteristics. To engineer improved HBAMs, i.e., more in vivo-like, we developed Mechanical Cell Stimulator (MCS) hardware to apply in vivo-like forces directly to the engineered tissue. A sensitive force transducer attached to the HBAM measured real-time, internally generated, as well as externally applied, forces. The muscle cells generated increasing internal forces during formation which were inhibitable with a cytoskeleton depolymerizer. Repetitive stretch/relaxation for 8 days increased the HBAM elasticity two- to threefold, mean myofiber diameter 12%, and myofiber area percent 40%. This system allows engineering of improved skeletal muscle analogs as well as a nondestructive method to determine passive force and viscoelastic properties of the resulting tissue.

  2. Evaluation of the improvement suggestion system in a nuclear facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carnaval, Joao Paulo Rodrigues; Moraes, Geice Almeida, E-mail: joaocarnaval@inb.gov.br, E-mail: geice@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil S.A (INB), Resende, RJ (Brazil)

    2017-11-01

    This work evaluated methods for processing improvement suggestions of a nuclear factory, with the intention to verify those which best fits to the company purposes. Two methods for processing improvement suggestions were applied in the studied organization. The first one was guided to the processing suggestions by specific independent sectors of the company and the second one was conducted to the processing of suggestions by a multidisciplinary team. It has been concluded that a multidisciplinary team focused on research and development would be the best option to the implementation of improvement suggestions and technological innovation on this facility, instead of multi sector processing which revealed to be excessive bureaucratic before the expected goals. This study can be used by nuclear facilities to optimize an existing system of improvements analysis or even guide them for the implantation of a new one. It is more significant for the companies certified on ISO and OHSAS standards for the quality management, environmental and safety and occupational health systems which requires that the continuous improvement must exist and to be demonstrated. But it is also relevant for nuclear plants aiming to implement an Integrated Management System certified on ISO Standards. (author)

  3. Improving the Interplay between Usability Evaluation and User Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hornbæk, K.; Stage, Jan

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of a full-day workshop that was held on October 23 2004 in connection with the Third Nordic Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Nordichi 2004). The proceedings from the workshop are available from http://www.cs.aau.dk/~jans/events.html. The ideas and theme...... of the workshop are motivated and an outline of the contents of the papers that were presented in the workshop is given. In addition we summarize some challenges to the interplay between usability evaluation and user interface design agreed upon at the workshop, as well as some solutions that were debated....

  4. Passive heat acclimation improves skeletal muscle contractility in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racinais, S; Wilson, M G; Périard, J D

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of repeated passive heat exposure (i.e., acclimation) on muscle contractility in humans. Fourteen nonheat-acclimated males completed two trials including electrically evoked twitches and voluntary contractions in thermoneutral conditions [Cool: 24°C, 40% relative humidity (RH)] and hot ambient conditions in the hyperthermic state (Hot: 44-50°C, 50% RH) on consecutive days in a counterbalanced order. Rectal temperature was ~36.5°C in Cool and was maintained at ~39°C throughout Hot. Both trials were repeated after 11 days of passive heat acclimation (1 h per day, 48-50°C, 50% RH). Heat acclimation decreased core temperature in Cool (-0.2°C, P rate in Hot (+0.7 liter/h, P heat acclimation improved skeletal muscle contractility as evidenced by an increase in evoked peak twitch amplitude both in Cool (20.5 ± 3.6 vs. 22.0 ± 4.0 N·m) and Hot (20.5 ± 4.7 vs. 22.0 ± 4.0 N·m) (+9%, P heat acclimation improves skeletal muscle contractile function during electrically evoked and voluntary muscle contractions of different intensities both in Cool and Hot. These results suggest that repeated heat exposure may have important implications to passively maintain or even improve muscle function in a variety of performance and clinical settings. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Evaluating the Improvement of Sustainability of Sports Industry Policy Based on MADM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuang-Hua Hu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The influence of globalization on sports has turned out to be a popular issue widely discussed by researchers. Improvement to the sustainability of sports industry policy is an important and challenging issue, and related are inherently multiple attribute decision making (MADM problems that can be strategically important to economic systems. The purpose of this study is to set up a new sustainability sports industry policy evaluation model that addresses the main causal factors and amends the priorities. A MADM model is combined with DEMATEL, DANP, and VIKOR for the evaluation and improvement of the sustainability of sports industry policy. The improvement priorities according to the domain expert interviews are in the following order: promotion and assistance of government policy (A, sports venues and facilities (D, enterprise sponsorship of sports quality (E, expert human resources (B, and finally sports competitions and events (C.

  6. Human Factors Evaluation of Advanced Electric Power Grid Visualization Tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greitzer, Frank L.; Dauenhauer, Peter M.; Wierks, Tamara G.; Podmore, Robin

    2009-04-01

    This report describes initial human factors evaluation of four visualization tools (Graphical Contingency Analysis, Force Directed Graphs, Phasor State Estimator and Mode Meter/ Mode Shapes) developed by PNNL, and proposed test plans that may be implemented to evaluate their utility in scenario-based experiments.

  7. Does training with human patient simulation translate to improved patient safety and outcome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shear, Torin D; Greenberg, Steven B; Tokarczyk, Arthur

    2013-04-01

    In this review, we evaluate several articles in an attempt to qualify the effect of human patient simulation in anaesthesia on patient outcome. The recognition of medical error as a significant cause of patient morbidity and mortality has sparked an increased focus on improving healthcare quality and patient safety. Simulation in anaesthesia is a potential tool to help achieve this goal by allowing anaesthesia providers to learn, practice and perfect their craft without a potential harm to patients. It has gained growing traction in the field and is recently a required element in the American Board of Anesthesiology's Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesia programme. Very few studies have evaluated the effect of simulation on patient outcome. To date, one study has demonstrated improved individual clinical performance in anaesthesia after simulation training. Research suggests that simulation-based team training can reduce patient mortality and improve the quality of care as measured by surgical quality improvement measures. Simulation may improve healthcare systems by serving as a tool to detect latent error and drive process improvement. Despite the adoption of simulation, further study is needed to better qualify its effect on patient safety and outcome.

  8. Enhanced human service transportation models : joint demonstration. Phase 1, System planning and design process evaluation : baseline analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-13

    This document presents the findings from the baseline phase of the evaluation of the process being used by eight sites to develop a design for a Travel Management Coordination Center (TMCC) for improved coordination of human service transportation wi...

  9. Development of an evaluation technique for human-machine interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Min, Dae Hwan; Koo, Sang Hui; Ahn, Won Yeong; Ryu, Yeong Shin [Korea Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1997-07-15

    The purpose of this study is two-fold : firstly to establish an evaluation technique for HMI(Human Machine Interface) in NPPs(Nuclear Power Plants) and secondly to develop an architecture of a support system which can be used for the evaluation of HMI. In order to establish an evaluation technique, this study conducted literature review on basic theories of cognitive science studies and summarized the cognitive characteristics of humans. This study also surveyed evaluation techniques of HMI in general, and reviewed studies on the evaluation of HMI in NPPs. On the basis of this survey, the study established a procedure for the evaluation of HMI in NPPs in Korea and laid a foundation for empirical verification.

  10. NOTION, ELEMENTS AND EVALUATION OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGMENT IN SPORT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milorad M. Drobac

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Principal object of the author’s research in work is identification of notion, cru- cial elements and evaluation of human resources management in general and apart in sport. From the beginning of usage of term “human resources management”, we use foretoken “strategic” that has especially signified meaning. Strategic approach to the exploration of this problem points to the fact that human resources are from particularly significance for all forms of human organization (firms, associations, institutions etc., regardless are we talking about economy, social activity, politics, science, sport or any other area of human activity. Experience shows that, in our society, we mainly considered human resources management from the aspect of formulation and implementation of strategy in any shape and segment of altogether human activity, but we pay a little interest to the control, or in other words evaluation of human resources performance. What is attained in world rela- tions, on the human resources management plan, admonish and binds that we must ac- cept employees in our environment (it implies sport as an equal partner in management

  11. CDC Activities for Improving Implementation of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination, Cervical Cancer Screening, and Surveillance Worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senkomago, Virginia; Duran, Denise; Loharikar, Anagha; Hyde, Terri B; Markowitz, Lauri E; Unger, Elizabeth R; Saraiya, Mona

    2017-12-01

    Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates are high, particularly in developing countries. Most cervical cancers can be prevented by human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, screening, and timely treatment. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides global technical assistance for implementation and evaluation of HPV vaccination pilot projects and programs and laboratory-related HPV activities to assess HPV vaccines. CDC collaborates with global partners to develop global cervical cancer screening recommendations and manuals, implement screening, create standardized evaluation tools, and provide expertise to monitor outcomes. CDC also trains epidemiologists in cancer prevention through its Field Epidemiology Training Program and is working to improve cancer surveillance by supporting efforts of the World Health Organization in developing cancer registry hubs and assisting countries in estimating costs for developing population-based cancer registries. These activities contribute to the Global Health Security Agenda action packages to improve immunization, surveillance, and the public health workforce globally.

  12. Improved Probe for Evaluating Compaction of Mold Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overfelt, Ruel A.; Bakhtiyarov, Sayavur I.

    2008-01-01

    A nominally stationary tubular probe denoted a telescopic probe has been developed as an improved alternative to a prior movable probe used to evaluate the local degree of compaction of mold sand. The probe is inserted vertically to a desired depth in a sand-filled molding flask and the back pressure at the given rate of flow of air is recorded as a measure of the degree of partial impermeability and, hence, of the degree of compaction of sand in the vicinity of the probe tip.

  13. A Study on the improvement of Paldang dam discharge evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Young Chul; Kim, Chong Hak; Lee, Dae Soo [Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), Taejon (Korea, Republic of). Research Center; Lee, Won Hwan; Cho, Won Chul; Heo, Jun Haeng [Yonsei Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1995-12-31

    Besides the original purpose of electric power generation, the Paldang dam plays such important roles as flood control and water supply in the Han river. However, significant drawdown of the downstream water level since 1973 has caused considerable differences between the real discharges and the estimated values currently in use. This study was performed to improve discharge evaluation method and to provide new discharge table appropriate for the changed condition. Through the physical model tests assisted by numerical test, the discharge equations were modified, the discharge table was revised for steady and unsteady flow conditions, but the gate operation rules proved reasonable and remained unchanged. (author). 81 refs., 166 figs.

  14. Improvement of laboratory phytotest for the ecological evaluation of soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaeva, O. V.; Terekhova, V. A.

    2017-09-01

    Analysis of methodological documents, Russian and foreign standards, and scientific publications has been performed to reveal best global practices and current trends in the improvement of laboratory phytotesting. It is proposed to increase the number of simultaneously used test cultures and the range of simultaneously controlled test functions at the first (screening) stage of phytotest to increase the information value of laboratory phytotests. Attention is focused on the assurance of the statistical reliability of test results. The advisability of creating universal regulations of Russian Federation for phytotesting methods to unify approaches to the ecological evaluation of soils.

  15. ISO 15189:2003--quality management, evaluation and continual improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, David

    2006-01-01

    The requirements of ISO 15189:2003 are discussed in the context of a process- and outcome-based quality management model in which the user's needs are the central focus. The requirements of ISO 15189:2003 are examined in terms of organisation and a quality management system, stressing the importance of evidence, document control, and control of records and clinical material. Examples are provided from the areas of resource management, and pre-examination, examination and post-examination processes. In the final section the importance of evaluation and continual improvement is presented in relation to internal audit and external assessment, non-conformity, corrective and preventative action and management review.

  16. The development of human factors experimental evaluation techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sim, Bong Shick; Oh, In Suk; Cha, Kyung Ho; Lee, Hyun Chul; Park, Geun Ok; Cheon, Se Woo; Suh, Sang Moon

    1997-07-01

    New human factors issues, such as evaluation of information navigation, the consideration of operator characteristics, and operator performance assessment, related to the HMI design based on VDUs are being risen. Thus, in order to solve these human factors issues, this project aims to establish the experimental technologies including the techniques for experimental design, experimental measurement, data collection and analysis, and to develop ITF (Integrated Test Facility) suitable for the experiment of HMI design evaluation. For the establish of the experimental data analysis and evaluation methodologies, we developed as the following: (1) a paradigm for human factors experimentation including experimental designs, procedures, and data analysis. (2) the methods for the assessment of operator`s mental workload (3) DAEXESS (data analysis and experiment evaluation supporting system). Also, we have established a experiment execution technologies through the preliminary experiments, such as the suitability evaluation of information display on a LSDP, the evaluation of information display on a LSDP, the evaluation of computerized operation procedure and an experiment of advanced alarm system (ADIOS). Finally, we developed the ITF including human machine simulator, telemetry system, an eye tracking system, an audio/video data measurement system, and three dimensional micro behaviour analysis system. (author). 81 refs., 68 tabs., 73 figs.

  17. Evaluation technology of human behavior cognition; Ningen kodo ninchi hyoka gijutsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    For human engineering and improvement of the living environment, the evaluation technology of human behavior cognition was studied. For the future reformation and creation of economic structure, the following are required: establishment of safe and affluent communities, further improvement of the safety and harmonious balance of people, lives and society, and R & D close to people and social needs. Introduction of Product Liability law and a fail-safe concept are examples of such efforts. However, since many accidents are found in the human society, the relation between human errors and human characteristics should be studied in detail. The cognitive science of human behavior is an objective evaluation technology from the viewpoint of human being, object, environment and society. Based on these social and technological background, the feasibility of the evaluation technology is studied, and the future trend and skeleton of this project are clarified. The domestic and foreign trends of technologies concerned are thus surveyed, and the important points, features, skeleton and ripple effect of the technology are summarized. 500 refs., 70 figs., 5 tabs.

  18. Evaluation and Enhancement of Carbon Dioxide Flooding Through Sweep Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, Richard

    2009-09-30

    Carbon dioxide displacement is a common improved recovery method applied to light oil reservoirs (30-45{degrees}API). The economic and technical success of CO{sub 2} floods is often limited by poor sweep efficiency or large CO{sub 2} utilization rates. Projected incremental recoveries for CO{sub 2} floods range from 7% to 20% of the original oil in place; however, actual incremental recoveries range from 9% to 15% of the original oil in place, indicating the potential for significant additional recoveries with improved sweep efficiency. This research program was designed to study the effectiveness of carbon dioxide flooding in a mature reservoir to identify and develop methods and strategies to improve oil recovery in carbon dioxide floods. Specifically, the project has focused on relating laboratory, theoretical and simulation studies to actual field performance in a CO{sub 2} flood in an attempt to understand and mitigate problems of areal and vertical sweep efficiency. In this work the focus has been on evaluating the status of existing swept regions of a mature CO{sub 2} flood and developing procedures to improve the design of proposed floods. The Little Creek Field, Mississippi has been studied through laboratory, theoretical, numerical and simulation studies in an attempt to relate performance predictions to historical reservoir performance to determine sweep efficiency, improve the understanding of the reservoir response to CO{sub 2} injection, and develop scaling methodologies to relate laboratory data and simulation results to predicted reservoir behavior. Existing laboratory information from Little Creek was analyzed and an extensive amount of field data was collected. This was merged with an understanding of previous work at Little Creek to generate a detailed simulation study of two portions of the field – the original pilot area and a currently active part of the field. This work was done to try to relate all of this information to an understanding

  19. Acquisition and improvement of human motor skills: Learning through observation and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iba, Wayne

    1991-01-01

    Skilled movement is an integral part of the human existence. A better understanding of motor skills and their development is a prerequisite to the construction of truly flexible intelligent agents. We present MAEANDER, a computational model of human motor behavior, that uniformly addresses both the acquisition of skills through observation and the improvement of skills through practice. MAEANDER consists of a sensory-effector interface, a memory of movements, and a set of performance and learning mechanisms that let it recognize and generate motor skills. The system initially acquires such skills by observing movements performed by another agent and constructing a concept hierarchy. Given a stored motor skill in memory, MAEANDER will cause an effector to behave appropriately. All learning involves changing the hierarchical memory of skill concepts to more closely correspond to either observed experience or to desired behaviors. We evaluated MAEANDER empirically with respect to how well it acquires and improves both artificial movement types and handwritten script letters from the alphabet. We also evaluate MAEANDER as a psychological model by comparing its behavior to robust phenomena in humans and by considering the richness of the predictions it makes.

  20. Health improvement for disadvantaged people in Nepal – an evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana Ram B

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An evaluation of progress with participatory approaches for improvement of health knowledge and health experiences of disadvantaged people in eight Districts of Eastern Nepal has been undertaken. Methods A random selection of Village Development Committees and households, within the eight Districts where participation and a Rights-based Approach had been promoted specifically by local NGOs were compared with similar villages and households in eight Districts where this approach had not been promoted. Information was sought by structured interview and observation by experienced enumerators from both groups of householders. Health knowledge and experiences were compared between the two sets of households. Adjustments were made for demographic confounders. Results Complete data sets were available for 628 of the 640 households. Health knowledge and experiences were low for both sets of households. However, health knowledge and experiences were greater in the participatory households compared with the non-participatory households. These differences remained after adjustment for confounders. Conclusions The study was designed to evaluate progress with participatory processes delivered by non-governmental organisations over a five year period. Improvements in health knowledge and experiences of disadvantaged people were demonstrated in a consistent and robust manner where interventions had taken place.

  1. EVALUATING HUMAN CAPITAL IN A KNOWLEDGE – BASED APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanoil MUSCALU

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The widespread enthusiasm for a knowledge-based approach to understanding the nature of a business and the possible basis for sustained competitive advantage have renewed interest in human capital evaluation or measurement. While many attempts have been made to develop methods for measuring intellectual capital, none have been widely adopted in the business world. In the knowledge-based organizations, and generally, in the information society, human capital is recognized as the fundamental factor of overall progress, and experts agree that long-term investment in human capital has strong drive-propagation effects at the individual, organizational, national and global level. In this paper, we consider that a knowledge-based approach can offer new possibilities and answers to illustrate the importance of evaluation the human capital and knowledge assets by consistently generating added value in the business world.

  2. Evaluation of Improved Spacecraft Models for GLONASS Orbit Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, J. P.; Sibthorpe, A.; Harvey, N.; Bar-Sever, Y.; Kuang, D.

    2010-12-01

    High-fidelity spacecraft models become more important as orbit determination strategies achieve greater levels of precision and accuracy. In this presentation, we assess the impacts of new solar radiation pressure and attitude models on precise orbit determination (POD) for GLONASS spacecraft within JPLs GIPSY-OASIS software. A new solar radiation pressure model is developed by empirically fitting a Fourier expansion to solar pressure forces acting on the spacecraft X, Y, Z components using one year of recent orbit data. Compared to a basic “box-wing” solar pressure model, the median 24-hour orbit prediction accuracy for one month of independent test data improves by 43%. We additionally implement an updated yaw attitude model during eclipse periods. We evaluate the impacts of both models on post-processed POD solutions spanning 6-months. We consider a number of metrics such as internal orbit and clock overlaps as well as comparisons to independent solutions. Improved yaw attitude modeling reduces the dependence of these metrics on the “solar elevation” angle. The updated solar pressure model improves orbit overlap statistics by several mm in the median sense and centimeters in the max sense (1D). Orbit differences relative to the IGS combined solution are at or below the 5 cm level (1D RMS).

  3. Evaluation of Opportunities to Improve Hematopathology Diagnosis for Vietnam Pathologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayton, Vanessa; Nguyen, Chi Kim; Van, Trinh Thu; Thanh, Nguyen Van; To, Ta Van; Hung, Nguyen Phi; Dung, Nguyen Ngoc; Milner, Danny A

    2017-11-20

    We evaluate the need for, feasibility of, and impediments to improving hematopathology diagnoses for cancer hospitals in Vietnam. Two hematopathologists from the United States visited three major cancer treatment hospitals in Vietnam to workshop a sampling of difficult hematopathology cases. With Vietnamese pathologists, they toured histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and ancillary laboratory facilities. Automated tissue processors and slide staining equipment were documented for each of the three hospitals. Between seven and 11 hematopathology cases were reviewed for each hospital. Exact/complete diagnostic concordance was 50% or less for all three laboratories. The major impediments to accurate specific diagnoses were limitations of immunohistochemical stains, limited stains available in house, and, for one of the hospitals, difficulty with interpretation of the immunohistochemistry. Vietnamese pathologists would benefit from hematopathology training or opportunities to consult with hematopathologists in the United States. Expert hematopathology consultation services are currently unavailable within Vietnam, as postgraduate training for laboratory physicians consists of residency training in anatomic pathology only. Limitations in the quality of histopathology and immunohistochemistry could impose a barrier to success of efforts to improve hematopathology diagnosis. Implementation of a histopathology and immunohistochemistry quality improvement program might overcome this limitation.

  4. Evaluation of human dynamic balance in Grassmann manifold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalczuk, Agnieszka; Wereszczyński, Kamil; Mucha, Romualda; Świtoński, Adam; Josiński, Henryk; Wojciechowski, Konrad

    2017-07-01

    The authors present an application of Grassmann manifold to the evaluation of human dynamic balance based on the time series representing movements of hip, knee and ankle joints in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes. Time series were extracted from gait sequences which were recorded in the Human Motion Laboratory (HML) of the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Bytom, Poland using the Vicon system.

  5. Entire CD3ε, δ, and γ humanized mouse to evaluate human CD3-mediated therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Otoya; Wada, Naoko A; Kinoshita, Yasuko; Hino, Hiroshi; Kakefuda, Mami; Ito, Tsuneo; Fujii, Etsuko; Noguchi, Mizuho; Sato, Kiyoharu; Morita, Masahiro; Tateishi, Hiromi; Matsumoto, Kaoru; Goto, Chisato; Kawase, Yosuke; Kato, Atsuhiko; Hattori, Kunihiro; Nezu, Junichi; Ishiguro, Takahiro; Jishage, Kou-Ichi

    2017-04-03

    T cell-mediated immunotherapy is an attractive strategy for treatment in various disease areas. In this therapeutic approach, the CD3 complex is one of the key molecules to modulate T cell functions; however, in many cases, we cannot evaluate the drug candidates in animal experiments because the therapeutics, usually monoclonal antibodies specific to human CD3, cannot react to mouse endogenous Cd3. Although immunodeficient mice transfused with human hematopoietic stem or precursor cells, known as humanized mice, are available for these studies, mice humanized in this manner are not completely immune competent. In this study we have succeeded in establishing a novel mouse strain in which all the three components of the Cd3 complex - Cd3ε, Cd3δ, and Cd3γ - are replaced by their human counterparts, CD3E, CD3D, and CD3G. Basic immunological assessments have confirmed that this strain of human CD3 EDG-replaced mice are entirely immune competent, and we have also demonstrated that a bispecific antibody that simultaneously binds to human CD3 and a tumor-associated antigen (e.g. ERBB2 or GPC3) can be evaluated in human CD3 EDG-replaced mice engrafted with tumors. Our mouse model provides a novel means to evaluate the in vivo efficacy of human CD3-mediated therapy.

  6. International trauma teleconference: evaluating trauma care and facilitating quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Michael W; Castillo, Roberto C; Rodas, Edgar B; Suarez-Becerra, Jose M; Puentes-Manosalva, Fabian E; Wendt, Luke M

    2013-09-01

    Evaluation, development, and implementation of trauma systems in Latin America are challenging undertakings as no model is currently in place that can be easily replicated throughout the region. The use of teleconferencing has been essential in overcoming other challenges in the medical field and improving medical care. This article describes the use of international videoconferencing in the field of trauma and critical care as a tool to evaluate differences in care based on local resources, as well as facilitating quality improvement and system development in Latin America. In February 2009, the International Trauma and Critical Care Improvement Project was created and held monthly teleconferences between U.S. trauma surgeons and Latin American general surgeons, emergency physicians, and intensivists. In-depth discussions and prospective evaluations of each case presented were conducted by all participants based on resources available. Care rendered was divided in four stages: (1) pre-hospital setting, (2) emergency room or trauma room, (3) operating room, and (4) subsequent postoperative care. Furthermore, the participating institutions completed an electronic survey of trauma resources based on World Health Organization/International Association for Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care guidelines. During a 17-month period, 15 cases in total were presented from a Level I and a Level II U.S. hospital (n=3) and five Latin American hospitals (n=12). Presentations followed the Advanced Trauma Life Support sequence in all U.S. cases but in only 3 of the 12 Latin American cases. The following deficiencies were observed in cases presented from Latin America: pre-hospital communication was nonexistent in all cases; pre-hospital services were absent in 60% of cases presented; lack of trauma team structure was evident in the emergency departments; during the initial evaluation and resuscitation, the Advanced Trauma Life Support protocol was followed one time and the Clinical

  7. Evaluating human, social and cultural capital in nurse education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royal, Jan

    2012-07-01

    Using the concepts of human, social and cultural capital this paper will review the literature on these theories and evaluate their application to nurse education in the United Kingdom (UK). Each concept will be explored before considering the impact and application within nurse education. Issues of sponsorship via mentoring and increased skills and contribution to the knowledge economy alongside the delivery of quality care by nursing students will be discussed with reference to theory and current policy drivers. As nursing education moves to a graduate profession in the UK this paper evaluates the drivers of human, social and cultural capital that affect this development. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Evaluation of two communication strategies to improve udder health management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, J; Renes, R J; Lam, T J G M

    2010-02-01

    Worldwide, programs to improve udder health are implemented using communication tools and methods that inform and persuade dairy farmers. This study evaluated 2 communication strategies used in a mastitis control program in the Netherlands. To improve farmers' udder health management, tools such as instruction cards, treatment plans, checklists and software were developed following an argument-based comprehensive "central route." These tools were used during on-farm study group meetings for farmers organized by veterinarians and also during individual veterinarian-farmer interactions. The second strategy aimed at adopting a single management practice to increase the use of milking gloves during milking. This approach followed a straightforward "peripheral" route that used implicit persuasion techniques. Results of an online survey of 374 Dutch dairy farmers showed that most farmers were able and willing to use the educational management tools to increase udder health on their farms. They evaluated the tools positively regardless of the mastitis problems on their farms. This seems to indicate that the central route of communication is most effective when farmers are motivated to work on udder health in general. Results of repeated random telephone surveys before, during, and after the campaign on the use of milking gloves showed that the use of gloves increased from 20.9 to 42.0% of the respondents. Respondents' opinions about milking gloves also changed favorably, indicating that a relatively short peripheral campaign on a single action can have a sustained effect on farmers' behavior. Both communication strategies seem to be potentially successful in disseminating knowledge to a specific target group of farmers and in changing that group's behavior. However, to reach as many farmers as possible, the strategies should be combined. When optimizing these strategies, both the farmers' motivation to work on udder health and the aim of the campaign should be considered

  9. Power performance evaluation and improvement of operational wind power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pelletier, F.; Masson, C. [Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation described an academic research project that was conducted to improve the power performance evaluation techniques used to assess wind power plants. An advanced data acquisition system was used to provide data for a power performance modelling tool. Time scales and power curve measurements were obtained. A literature review of power curve modelling techniques included stochastic models; discrete models; parametric and non-parametric models; and data reduction techniques. A multi-linear regression model was used to determine power performance. To date, the study has determined selection process for wind turbine scripts for wake sector delimitation; terrain classification; and transfer function. The project will focus on developing quality control data for wind turbines, select wind turbines according to terrain classes and wake sectors, and perform analyses with WAsP and WindPro software programs. tabs, figs.

  10. [Development of human embryonic stem cell platforms for human health-safety evaluation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Guang-yan; Cao, Tong; Zou, Xiao-hui; Zhang, Xue-hui; Fu, Xin; Peng, Shuang-qing; Deng, Xu-liang; Li, Sheng-lin; Liu, He; Xiao, Ran; Ouyang, Hong-wei; Peng, Hui; Chen, Xiao; Zhao, Zeng-ming; Wang, Xiao-ying; Fang, Hai-qin; Lu, Lu; Ren, Yu-lan; Xu, Ming-ming

    2016-02-18

    The human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) serve as a self-renewable, genetically-healthy, pluripotent and single source of all body cells, tissues and organs. Therefore, it is considered as the good standard for all human stem cells by US, Europe and international authorities. In this study, the standard and healthy human mesenchymal progenitors, ligament tissues, cardiomyocytes, keratinocytes, primary neurons, fibroblasts, and salivary serous cells were differentiated from hESCs. The human cellular health-safety of NaF, retinoic acid, 5-fluorouracil, dexamethasone, penicillin G, adriamycin, lead acetate PbAc, bisphenol A-biglycidyl methacrylate (Bis-GMA) were evaluated selectively on the standardized platforms of hESCs, hESCs-derived cardiomyocytes, keratinocytes, primary neurons, and fibroblasts. The evaluations were compared with those on the currently most adopted cellular platforms. Particularly, the sensitivity difference of PM2.5 toxicity on standardized and healthy hESCs derived fibroblasts, currently adopted immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells Beas-2B and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were evaluated. The RESULTS showed that the standardized hESCs cellular platforms provided more sensitivity and accuracy for human cellular health-safety evaluation.

  11. The development of human factors technologies -The development of human factors experimental evaluation techniques-

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shim, Bong Sik; Oh, In Suk; Cha, Kyung Hoh; Lee, Hyun Chul [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    1995-07-01

    In this year, we studied the followings: (1) Development of operator mental workload evaluation techniques, (2) Development of a prototype for preliminary human factors experiment, (3) Suitability test of information display on a large scale display panel, (4) Development of guidelines for VDU-based control room design, (5) Development of integrated test facility (ITF). (6) Establishment of an eye tracking system, and we got the following results: (1) Mental workload evaluation techniques for MMI evaluation, (2) PROTOPEX (PROTOtype for preliminary human factors experiment) for preliminary human factors experiments, (3) Usage methods of APTEA (Analysis-Prototyping-Training-Experiment-Analysis) experiment design, (4) Design guidelines for human factors verification, (5) Detail design requirements and development plan of ITF, (6) Eye movement measurement system. 38 figs, 20 tabs, 54 refs. (Author).

  12. Evaluation of the effect of horse blood supplemented with human ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of horse blood supplemented with human blood and vitamin on the performance of Glossina morsitans morsitans colony. Three feeding groups were established and a total of 144 female G. m. morsitans flies were assigned to each group. The first group was entirely ...

  13. Evaluation of human body comfortableness under vibrate condition ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To efficiently evaluate the influences on human body comfortableness under different vibrative condition, the paper comprehensively applied the surface electromyography (SEMG) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology and obtained the relationship between mean power frequency (MPF) and regional tissue ...

  14. Accident Sequence Evaluation Program: Human reliability analysis procedure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swain, A.D.

    1987-02-01

    This document presents a shortened version of the procedure, models, and data for human reliability analysis (HRA) which are presented in the Handbook of Human Reliability Analysis With emphasis on Nuclear Power Plant Applications (NUREG/CR-1278, August 1983). This shortened version was prepared and tried out as part of the Accident Sequence Evaluation Program (ASEP) funded by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and managed by Sandia National Laboratories. The intent of this new HRA procedure, called the ''ASEP HRA Procedure,'' is to enable systems analysts, with minimal support from experts in human reliability analysis, to make estimates of human error probabilities and other human performance characteristics which are sufficiently accurate for many probabilistic risk assessments. The ASEP HRA Procedure consists of a Pre-Accident Screening HRA, a Pre-Accident Nominal HRA, a Post-Accident Screening HRA, and a Post-Accident Nominal HRA. The procedure in this document includes changes made after tryout and evaluation of the procedure in four nuclear power plants by four different systems analysts and related personnel, including human reliability specialists. The changes consist of some additional explanatory material (including examples), and more detailed definitions of some of the terms. 42 refs.

  15. [Evaluation of 12 pilot projects to improve outpatient palliative care].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Wolf, G; Elsner, F; Lindena, G; Hilgers, R-D; Heussen, N; Rolke, R; Ostgathe, C; Radbruch, L

    2013-12-01

    With a priority programme the German Cancer Aid supported the development of quality-assured outpatient palliative care to cover the whole country. The 12 regional pilot projects funded with the aim to improve outpatient palliative care in different models and different frameworks were concurrently monitored and evaluated. The supported projects, starting and ending individually, documented all patients who were cared for using HOPE (Hospice and palliative care evaluation) and MIDOS (Minimal documentation system for palliative patients). Total data were analyzed for 3239 patients decriptively. In addition to the quantitative data the experiences of the projects were recorded in a number of workshops (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012). In particular, the experiences reported in the final meeting in July 2012 were considered for this article as well as the final reports for the German Cancer Aid. In the quantitative evaluation 85.6% of 3239 palliative care patients had a cancer diagnosis. In all model projects the goal of a network with close cooperation of primary providers, social support, and outpatient and inpatient specialist services has been achieved. For all projects, the initial financing of the German Cancer Aid was extremely important, because contracts with health insurance funds were negotiated slowly, and could then be built on the experiences with the projects. The participants of the project-completion meeting emphasized the need to carry out a market analysis before starting palliative care organizations considering the different regional structures and target groups of patients. Education, training and continuing education programs contribute significantly to the network. A reliably funded coordination center/case management across all institutions is extremely important. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  16. Judging whether a patient is actually improving: more pitfalls from the science of human perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redelmeier, Donald A; Dickinson, Victoria M

    2012-09-01

    Fallible human judgment may lead clinicians to make mistakes when assessing whether a patient is improving following treatment. This article provides a narrative review of selected studies in psychology that describe errors that potentially apply when a physician assesses a patient's response to treatment. Comprehension may be distorted by subjective preconceptions (lack of double blinding). Recall may fail through memory lapses (unwanted forgetfulness) and tacit assumptions (automatic imputation). Evaluations may be further compromised due to the effects of random chance (regression to the mean). Expression may be swayed by unjustified overconfidence following conformist groupthink (group polarization). An awareness of these five pitfalls may help clinicians avoid some errors in medical care when determining whether a patient is improving.

  17. Acquisition-weighted chemical shift imaging improves SLOOP quantification of human cardiac phosphorus metabolites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geier, Oliver [Oslo University Hospital (Norway). The Intervention Centre; Weng, Andreas Max; Toepell, Andreas; Hahn, Dietbert [Wuerzburg Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Radiology; Spindler, Matthias [Wuerzburg Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Internal Medicine; Beer, Meinrad [Wuerzburg Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Radiology; Medical Univ. Graz (Austria). Dept. of Pediatric Radiology; Koestler, Herbert [Wuerzburg Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Radiology; Wuerzburg Univ. (Germany). Comprehensive Heart Failure Center

    2014-03-01

    Purpose: Phosphorous metabolite ratios in human myocardium were determined by a combination of acquisition weighted CSI and a SLOOP evaluation and the results were compared to corresponding SLOOP experiments using standard CSI. Materials and Methods: 10 healthy subjects were examined at 1.5 T using both standard CSI and acquisition weighted CSI. Both experiments were performed with a similar acquisition time and the same spatial resolution. The PCr/ATP ratio was determined and the localization properties of both experiments were compared. Results: The PCr/ATP ratio of 2.2 ± 0.4 found for the experiment using acquisition weighted CSI was almost identical to the value of 2.0 ± 0.4 for standard CSI. The sensitivity and the localization properties improved in all subjects using SLOOP evaluation of the acquisition weighted sampling in comparison to the standard CSI acquisition with an average of 3% and 18%, respectively. Conclusion: The employment of acquisition weighting allows for a further improvement of the {sup 31}P SLOOP spectroscopy of the human heart. (orig.)

  18. Human Factors Evaluations of Two-Dimensional Spacecraft Conceptual Layouts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.; Toups, Larry D.; Rudisill, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    Much of the human factors work done in support of the NASA Constellation lunar program has been with low fidelity mockups. These volumetric replicas of the future lunar spacecraft allow researchers to insert test subjects from the engineering and astronaut population and evaluate the vehicle design as the test subjects perform simulations of various operational tasks. However, lunar outpost designs must be evaluated without the use of mockups, creating a need for evaluation tools that can be performed on two-dimension conceptual spacecraft layouts, such as floor plans. A tool based on the Cooper- Harper scale was developed and applied to one lunar scenario, enabling engineers to select between two competing floor plan layouts. Keywords: Constellation, human factors, tools, processes, habitat, outpost, Net Habitable Volume, Cooper-Harper.

  19. An analysis and evaluation of Watson's theory of human care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sourial, S

    1996-08-01

    Despite a high priority placed on theory-testing in nursing, there continues to be minimal research undertaken which adequately tests nursing theories. A study was planned to contribute to theory-testing in nursing by testing an aspect of Watson's (1988) theory of human care. Watson essentially believes that nursing is an intersubjective human process and places a high value on the caring relationship between the nurse and the recipient of care. Before proceeding with the intended study, the following analysis and evaluation of Watson's theory presented here was undertaken, with guidance from a tool developed by Fawcett & Downs (1992). In this tool, the analysis identifies the concepts and propositions that make up the theory and the evaluation includes the criteria of significance, internal consistency, parsimony, testability and empirical adequacy of the theory being tested. Overall, this analysis and evaluation found two areas of Watson's work which were in need of further development.

  20. Evaluation of Atmospheric Loading and Improved Troposphere Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelensky, Nikita P.; Chinn, Douglas S.; Lemoine, F. G.; Le Bail, Karine; Pavlis, Despina E.

    2012-01-01

    Forward modeling of non-tidal atmospheric loading displacements at geodetic tracking stations have not routinely been included in Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositionning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) or Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) station analyses for either POD applications or reference frame determination. The displacements which are computed from 6-hourly models such as the ECMWF and can amount to 3-10 mm in the east, north and up components depending on the tracking station locations. We evaluate the application of atmospheric loading in a number ways using the NASA GSFC GEODYN software: First we assess the impact on SLR & DORIS-determined orbits such as Jason-2, where we evaluate the impact on the tracking data RMS of fit and how the total orbits are changed with the application of this correction. Preliminary results show an RMS radial change of 0.5 mm for Jason-2 over 54 cycles and a total change in the Z-centering of the orbit of 3 mm peak-to-peak over one year. We also evaluate the effects on other DORIS-satellites such as Cryosat-2, Envisat and the SPOT satellites. In the second step, we produce two SINEX time series based on data from available DORIS satellites and assess the differences in WRMS, scale and Helmert translation parameters. Troposphere refraction is obviously an important correction for radiometric data types such as DORIS. We evaluate recent improvements in DORIS processing at GSFC including the application of the Vienna Mapping Function (VMF1) grids with a-priori hydrostatic (VZHDs) and wet (VZWDs) zenith delays. We reduce the gridded VZHD at the stations height using pressure and temperature derived from GPT (strategy 1) and Saastamoinen. We discuss the validation of the VMF1 implementation and its application to the Jason-2 POD processing, compared to corrections using the Niell mapping function and the GMF. Using one year of data, we also assess the impact of the new troposphere corrections on the DORIS-only solutions, most

  1. Reliability Evaluation and Improvement Approach of Chemical Production Man - Machine - Environment System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Yongchun; Kang, Rongxue; Chen, Xuefeng

    2017-12-01

    In recent years, with the gradual extension of reliability research, the study of production system reliability has become the hot topic in various industries. Man-machine-environment system is a complex system composed of human factors, machinery equipment and environment. The reliability of individual factor must be analyzed in order to gradually transit to the research of three-factor reliability. Meanwhile, the dynamic relationship among man-machine-environment should be considered to establish an effective blurry evaluation mechanism to truly and effectively analyze the reliability of such systems. In this paper, based on the system engineering, fuzzy theory, reliability theory, human error, environmental impact and machinery equipment failure theory, the reliabilities of human factor, machinery equipment and environment of some chemical production system were studied by the method of fuzzy evaluation. At last, the reliability of man-machine-environment system was calculated to obtain the weighted result, which indicated that the reliability value of this chemical production system was 86.29. Through the given evaluation domain it can be seen that the reliability of man-machine-environment integrated system is in a good status, and the effective measures for further improvement were proposed according to the fuzzy calculation results.

  2. Human factors evaluation of teletherapy: Human-system interfaces and procedures. Volume 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaye, R.D.; Henriksen, K.; Jones, R. [Hughes Training, Inc., Falls Church, VA (United States); Morisseau, D.S.; Serig, D.I. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Systems Technology

    1995-07-01

    A series of human factors evaluations was undertaken to better understand the contributing factors to human error in the teletherapy environment. Teletherapy is a multidisciplinary methodology for treating cancerous tissue through selective exposure to an external beam of ionizing radiation. The principal sources of radiation are a radioactive isotope, typically cobalt60 (Co-60), or a linear accelerator device capable of producing very high energy x-ray and electron beams. A team of human factors specialists conducted site visits to radiation oncology departments at community hospitals, university centers, and free-standing clinics. In addition, a panel of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and radiation technologists served as subject matter experts. A function and task analysis was initially performed to guide subsequent evaluations in the areas of user-system interfaces, procedures, training and qualifications, and organizational policies and practices. The present report focuses on an evaluation of the human-system interfaces in relation to the treatment machines and supporting equipment (e.g., simulators, treatment planning computers, control consoles, patient charts) found in the teletherapy environment. The report also evaluates operating, maintenance and emergency procedures and practices involved in teletherapy. The evaluations are based on the function and task analysis and established human engineering guidelines, where applicable.

  3. Improving human resource capacity for road network preservation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nxumalo, M

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available There is compelling evidence that a significant factor contributing to the poor condition of much of Africa's rural road network is inadequate human resource capacity. This shortage of professional skills in road engineering inhibits proper...

  4. Improving compliance with surgical antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines: A multicenter evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Cristiane; Lacerda, Rubia Aparecida; Turrini, Ruth Natalia Teresa; Padoveze, Maria Clara

    2017-10-01

    Improving surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP) use is an important element in the control of antimicrobial resistance. However, compliance with SAP guidelines is unsatisfactory. This study investigated the level of compliance with SAP guidelines in neurosurgery, and institutional characteristics associated with compliance. This study assessed surgeries in 9 Brazilian hospitals. Medical record reviews and a structured questionnaire were used to assess compliance and to describe institutional characteristics. Six attributes of compliance with SAP guidelines were evaluated; full compliance was defined whenever all these attributes were met. Logistic and linear regressions were used to investigate the association between compliance, patients, and hospital characteristics. Full compliance was 10% and was associated with weekly hours of infection control personnel per intensive care unit bed (95% CI, 0.2-0.1), hospital-wide dissemination of SAP guidelines (95% CI, 1.2-25.1), monitoring (95% CI, 1.2-25.1), and feedback of compliance rates (95% CI, 3.8-25.2). Daytime procedures had greater compliance regarding drug dose (odds ratio [OR], 3.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72-6.65) and initial time (OR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.24-4.25). Spinal procedures achieved greater compliance with initial time (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.12-3.01) and duration (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.7-2.16). A low level of compliance was identified, which pointed out the need for an innovative stewardship approach to improve adherence to SAP guidelines. Targeted training programs need to be developed to ensure dissemination of guidelines among surgeons. Monitoring, feedback, and closer interaction between the infection control personnel and the surgical team are key factors for better compliance rates of SAP. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Human factors evaluation of teletherapy: Literature review. Volume 5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henriksen, K.; Kaye, R.D.; Jones, R. [Hughes Training, Inc., Falls Church, VA (United States); Morisseau, D.S.; Serig, D.L. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Systems Technology

    1995-07-01

    A series of human factors evaluations were undertaken to better understand the contributing factors to human error in the teletherapy environment. Teletherapy is a multidisciplinary methodology for treating cancerous tissue through selective exposure to an external beam of ionizing radiation. A team of human factors specialists, assisted by a panel of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and radiation therapists, conducted site visits to radiation oncology departments at community hospitals, university centers, and free-standing clinics. A function and task analysis was performed initially to guide subsequent evaluations in the areas of workplace environment, system-user interfaces, procedures, training, and organizational practices. To further acquire an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the practice of teletherapy in support of these evaluations, a systematic literature review was conducted. Factors that have a potential impact on the accuracy of treatment delivery were of primary concern. The present volume is the literature review. The volume starts with an overview of the multiphased nature of teletherapy, and then examines the requirement for precision, the increasing role of quality assurance, current conceptualizations of human error, and the role of system factors such as the workplace environment, user-system interfaces, procedures, training, and organizational practices.

  6. From Evaluation to Improvement: A Chief Justice’s Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn Warren

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available At the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, concepts of judicial performance and evaluation are relatively new. Responding to modern expectations for increased judicial accountability for their performance, Victorian judges have engaged a number of court–led evaluation and measurement tools aimed at improving judicial performance both inside and outside the courtroom. These include the Court Craft judicial education programme, the Report on Government Services performance indicators and the International Framework for Court Excellence. This article discusses how the Supreme Court of Victoria obtained judicial acceptance of the value of these tools in the Australian constitutional and institutional context. It highlights programme design aspects, including the importance of judicial involvement in programme development. En la Corte Suprema de Victoria, Australia, los conceptos de rendimiento y evaluación judicial son relativamente nuevos. En respuesta a las expectativas modernas de una mayor responsabilidad judicial por el desempeño de sus funciones, los jueces de Victoria han integrado un número de herramientas de evaluación y medición dirigidas a mejorar el desempeño judicial, tanto dentro como fuera de la sala. Estas herramientas incluyen el programa de educación judicial Court Craft, los indicadores de rendimiento del Informe sobre Servicios del Gobierno y el Sistema Internacional para la Excelencia de los Tribunales. Este artículo analiza cómo obtuvo la Corte Suprema de Victoria la aceptación judicial del valor de estas herramientas, en el contexto constitucional e institucional de Australia. Se destacan aspectos como el diseño del programa, incluyendo la importancia de la intervención judicial en el desarrollo del programa. DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2536304

  7. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  8. Evaluating the impact of the humanities in medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wershof Schwartz, Andrea; Abramson, Jeremy S; Wojnowich, Israel; Accordino, Robert; Ronan, Edward J; Rifkin, Mary R

    2009-08-01

    The inclusion of the humanities in medical education may offer significant potential benefits to individual future physicians and to the medical community as a whole. Debate remains, however, about the definition and precise role of the humanities in medical education, whether at the premedical, medical school, or postgraduate level. Recent trends have revealed an increasing presence of the humanities in medical training. This article reviews the literature on the impact of humanities education on the performance of medical students and residents and the challenges posed by the evaluation of the impact of humanities in medical education. Students who major in the humanities as college students perform just as well, if not better, than their peers with science backgrounds during medical school and in residency on objective measures of achievement such as National Board of Medical Examiners scores and academic grades. Although many humanities electives and courses are offered in premedical and medical school curricula, measuring and quantifying their impact has proven challenging because the courses are diverse in content and goals. Many of the published studies involve self-selected groups of students and seek to measure subjective outcomes which are difficult to measure, such as increases in empathy, professionalism, and self-care. Further research is needed to define the optimal role for humanities education in medical training; in particular, more quantitative studies are needed to examine the impact that it may have on physician performance beyond medical school and residency. Medical educators must consider what potential benefits humanities education can contribute to medical education, how its impact can be measured, and what ultimate outcomes we hope to achieve.

  9. Using Evaluability Assessment to Improve Program Evaluation for the Blue-Throated Macaw Environmental Education Project in Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvatierra da Silva, Daniela; Jacobson, Susan K.; Monroe, Martha C.; Israel, Glenn D.

    2016-01-01

    An evaluability assessment of a program to save a critically endangered bird helped prepare the Blue-throated Macaw Environmental Education Project for evaluation and program improvement. The evaluability assessment facilitated agreement among key stakeholders on evaluation criteria and intended uses of evaluation information in order to maximize…

  10. Improving Human Welfare: The Crucial Role of Open Access

    OpenAIRE

    Yamey, Gavin; Juma, Calestous

    2006-01-01

    Developing countries are increasingly improving their capacity to use scientific and technical knowledge to solve local problems. They are investing in communication infrastructure and improving technology policies. For such measures to be effective, those countries also need greater access to the world’s pool of knowledge. Restrictions on access to scientific and health information are hindering progress, particularly in the world’s least-developed countries, and are impeding efforts towa...

  11. Oscillatory dynamics track motor performance improvement in human cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dürschmid

    Full Text Available Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go. Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta ([Formula: see text]; 4-8 Hz phase and high gamma (HG; 80-180 Hz amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45 were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the [Formula: see text] and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice.

  12. Oscillatory Dynamics Track Motor Performance Improvement in Human Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Quandt, Fanny; Krämer, Ulrike M.; Hinrichs, Hermann; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schulz, Reinhard; Pannek, Heinz; Chang, Edward F.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC) in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG) from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go). Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta (; 4–8 Hz) phase and high gamma (HG; 80–180 Hz) amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45) were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice. PMID:24586885

  13. Harmonic skeleton guided evaluation of stenoses in human coronary arteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yan; Zhu, Lei; Haker, Steven; Tannenbaum, Allen R; Giddens, Don P

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach that three-dimensionally visualizes and evaluates stenoses in human coronary arteries by using harmonic skeletons. A harmonic skeleton is the center line of a multi-branched tubular surface extracted based on a harmonic function, which is the solution of the Laplace equation. This skeletonization method guarantees smoothness and connectivity and provides a fast and straightforward way to calculate local cross-sectional areas of the arteries, and thus provides the possibility to localize and evaluate coronary artery stenosis, which is a commonly seen pathology in coronary artery disease.

  14. Establishment of an evaluation model for human milk fat substitutes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yong-Hua; Mai, Qing-Yun; Qin, Xiao-Li; Yang, Bo; Wang, Zi-Lian; Chen, Hai-Tian

    2010-01-13

    Fatty acid composition and distribution of human milk fat (HMF), from mothers over different lactating periods in Guangzhou, China, were analyzed. The universal characteristics were consistent with previously reported results although the fatty acid content was within a different range and dependent on the local population (low saturated fatty acid and high oleic acid for Guangdong mothers' milk fat). Based on the composition of the total and sn-2 fatty acids of mature milk fat, an efficient evaluation model was innovatively established by adopting the "deducting score" principle. The model showed good agreement between the scores and the degree of similarity by assessing 15 samples from different sources including four samples of HMF, eight samples of human milk fat substitutes (HMFSs) and infant formulas, and three samples of fats and oils. This study would allow for the devolvement of individual human milk fat substitutes with different and specific fatty acid compositions for local infants.

  15. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.-Y. Chiang

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts. Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study.

  16. A methodology for the evaluation of the human-bioclimatic performance of open spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charalampopoulos, Ioannis; Tsiros, Ioannis; Chronopoulou-Sereli, Aik.; Matzarakis, Andreas

    2017-05-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present a simple methodology to improve the evaluation of the human-biometeorological benefits of open spaces. It is based on two groups of new indices using as basis the well-known PET index. This simple methodology along with the accompanying indices allows a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the climatic behavior of the selected sites. The proposed methodology was applied in a human-biometeorology research in the city of Athens, Greece. The results of this study are in line with the results of other related studies indicating the considerable influence of the sky view factor (SVF), the existence of the vegetation and the building material on human-biometeorological conditions. The proposed methodology may provide new insights in the decision-making process related to urban open spaces' best configuration.

  17. Improved Refolding Efficacy of Recombinant Human Interferon α-2b ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: To increase the refolding yield of Recombinant Human Interferon α-2b in order to achieve a highly potent product. Methods: Interferon α-2b inclusion body was dissolved in tris-HCl buffer containing 6 M guanidine-HCl and CuSO4. Different refolding buffers were employed for refolding the target protein.

  18. Improved genetic manipulation of human embryonic stem cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braam, S.R.; Denning, C.; van den Brink, S.; Kats, P.; Hochstenbach, R.; Passier, R.; Mummery, C.L.

    2008-01-01

    Low efficiency of transfection limits the ability to genetically manipulate human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and differences in cell derivation and culture methods require optimization of transfection protocols. We transiently transferred multiple independent hESC lines with different growth

  19. A New Architecture for Improved Human Behavior in Military Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    Operation Iraqi Freedom of the high cost of invading Iraq – what he referred to privately as “the Pottery Barn rule – you break it, you buy it.” 9 The...other humans do not mix well with the linear world of mathematical algorithms. Within academia, there have been many attempts to tackle this

  20. An evaluation of the human resource development process supporting CASS

    OpenAIRE

    Kilian, George F.

    1995-01-01

    This thesis is an evaluation of the human resource development process supporting the Consolidated Automated Support System (CASS). The CASS Implementation Plan and related Navy Training Plan are established to deliver CASS hardware/software and a trained workforce to the fleet for system operation and maintenance throughout its life cycle. This study involves an overview of both plans, a definition of basic personnel development requirements for any weapons system, a review of historical ATE...

  1. Economic Barriers To Improvement Of Human Health Associated With Wastewater Irrigation In The Mezquital Valley, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagata, H.; Sedlak, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    To improve public health, the United Nations' Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. The Mezquital Valley of Mexico is one of the places suffering serious human health problems such as ascariasis due to agricultural irrigation with untreated wastewater discharged by Mexico City. Despite the existence of serious health problems, wastewater treatment has not been installed due to economic barriers: the agricultural benefit of nutrients in the wastewater and cost of building and operating wastewater treatment plants. To develop solutions to this problem, the human health damage and the benefits of nutrient input were evaluated. The health impact caused by untreated wastewater reuse in the Mezquital Valley was estimated to be about 14 DALYs (disability-adjusted life year) per 100,000, which was 2.8 times higher than the DALYs lost by ascariasis in Mexico in 2002 estimated by WHO. The economic damage of the health impact was evaluated at 77,000 /year using willingness-to-pay (WTP) for reducing DALYs. The value of nutrient inputs (nitrogen and phosphorus) due to reuse of untreated wastewater was evaluated at 33 million /year using fertilizer prices. Therefore, attempts to decrease public health problems associated with reuse in the Mezquital Valley need to address losses of economic benefits associated with nutrients in sewage. In 2007, the Mexican Government announced plans to install wastewater treatment plants in this area. Although nutrient inputs in irrigated water is expected to decrease by 33% due to the wastewater treatment, farmers in the Mezquital Valley would still benefit from improved public health in the community and increases of crop values due to the ability to grow raw-eaten vegetables.

  2. Teaching Evaluation: A Critical Measure for Improving the Quality of Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Zhou

    2009-01-01

    In the coming period, the main task for China's higher education system is to improve the quality of education, and the key to improving the quality of education is to improve the quality of teaching. Teaching evaluations are a critical measure for improving the quality of teaching. The work of evaluating teaching at institutions of higher…

  3. Human resource leadership: the key to improved results in health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Neil Mary L

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is the lead article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article by article over the next few weeks. The journal has invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This opening article describes the human resource challenges that managers around the world report and analyses why solutions often fail to be implemented. Despite rising attention to the acute shortage of health care workers, solutions to the human resource (HR crisis are difficult to achieve, especially in the poorest countries. Although we are aware of the issues and have developed HR strategies, the problem is that some old systems of leading and managing human resources for health do not work in today's context. The Leadership Development Program (LDP is grounded on the belief that good leadership and management can be learned and practiced at all levels. The case studies in this issue were chosen to illustrate results from using the LDP at different levels of the health sector. The LDP makes a profound difference in health managers' attitudes towards their work. Rather than feeling defeated by a workplace climate that lacks motivation, hope, and commitment to change, people report that they are mobilized to take action to change the status quo. The lesson is that without this capacity at all levels, global policy and national HR strategies will fail to make a difference.

  4. Human resource leadership: the key to improved results in health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neil, Mary L

    2008-06-20

    This article is the lead article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article by article over the next few weeks. The journal has invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This opening article describes the human resource challenges that managers around the world report and analyses why solutions often fail to be implemented. Despite rising attention to the acute shortage of health care workers, solutions to the human resource (HR) crisis are difficult to achieve, especially in the poorest countries. Although we are aware of the issues and have developed HR strategies, the problem is that some old systems of leading and managing human resources for health do not work in today's context. The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is grounded on the belief that good leadership and management can be learned and practiced at all levels. The case studies in this issue were chosen to illustrate results from using the LDP at different levels of the health sector. The LDP makes a profound difference in health managers' attitudes towards their work. Rather than feeling defeated by a workplace climate that lacks motivation, hope, and commitment to change, people report that they are mobilized to take action to change the status quo. The lesson is that without this capacity at all levels, global policy and national HR strategies will fail to make a difference.

  5. Human milk fortification strategies for improved in-hospital growth of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Human milk fortification strategies for improved in-hospital growth of preterm infants. JE Kempa* and FAM Wenholda. aDepartment of Human Nutrition, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. *Corresponding author, email: kemridge@absamail.co.za. Human milk is the preferred feed for preterm infants, yet it may need ...

  6. A Survey on the HFE-related Technologies for the Improvements of Human Performance of Safety Personnel in Rail System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koo, I. S.; Park, G. O.; Suh, S. M.; Sim, Y. R.; Go, J. H.; Jeong, J. H.; Son, C. H

    2005-08-15

    Many studies have shown that the most cases of rail accidents have occurred because of performing his/her tasks in inappropriate way. It is generally recognised that the rail system without human element could never be happened quite long time. So human element in rail system is going to be the major factor to the next tragic accident. This state-of-the-art report describes three major HFE-related technologies, training simulator, the integrated test facility for human factors engineering, and human performance evaluation system, that are used in the other industries including nuclear power industry for the purpose of increasing rail safety through out the improvement of human task performance. Base on this report, the way of developing those technologies that should be applied to the korean rail system is presented.

  7. Human platelet-rich plasma improves the nesting and differentiation of human chondrocytes cultured in stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sancho-Tello, Maria; Martorell, Sara; Mata Roig, Manuel; Milián, Lara; Gámiz-González, M A; Gómez Ribelles, Jose Luis; Carda, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    The clinical management of large-size cartilage lesions is difficult due to the limited regenerative ability of the cartilage. Different biomaterials have been used to develop tissue engineering substitutes for cartilage repair, including chitosan alone or in combination with growth factors to improve its chondrogenic properties. The main objective of this investigation was to evaluate the benefits of combining activated platelet-rich plasma with a stabilized porous chitosan scaffold for cartilage regeneration. To achieve this purpose, stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds were prepared using freeze gelation and combined with activated platelet-rich plasma. Human primary articular chondrocytes were isolated and cultured in stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds with and without combination to activated platelet-rich plasma. Scanning electron microscopy was used for the morphological characterization of the resulting scaffolds. Cell counts were performed in hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections, and type I and II collagen expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry. Significant increase in cell number in activated platelet-rich plasma/stabilized porous chitosan was found compared with stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds. Chondrocytes grown on stabilized porous chitosan expressed high levels of type I collagen but type II was not detectable, whereas cells grown on activated platelet rich plasma/stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds expressed high levels of type II collagen and type I was almost undetectable. In summary, activated platelet-rich plasma increases nesting and induces the differentiation of chondrocytes cultured on stabilized porous chitosan scaffolds.

  8. Generating Phenotypical Erroneous Human Behavior to Evaluate Human-automation Interaction Using Model Checking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Matthew L; Bass, Ellen J; Siminiceanu, Radu I

    2012-11-01

    Breakdowns in complex systems often occur as a result of system elements interacting in unanticipated ways. In systems with human operators, human-automation interaction associated with both normative and erroneous human behavior can contribute to such failures. Model-driven design and analysis techniques provide engineers with formal methods tools and techniques capable of evaluating how human behavior can contribute to system failures. This paper presents a novel method for automatically generating task analytic models encompassing both normative and erroneous human behavior from normative task models. The generated erroneous behavior is capable of replicating Hollnagel's zero-order phenotypes of erroneous action for omissions, jumps, repetitions, and intrusions. Multiple phenotypical acts can occur in sequence, thus allowing for the generation of higher order phenotypes. The task behavior model pattern capable of generating erroneous behavior can be integrated into a formal system model so that system safety properties can be formally verified with a model checker. This allows analysts to prove that a human-automation interactive system (as represented by the model) will or will not satisfy safety properties with both normative and generated erroneous human behavior. We present benchmarks related to the size of the statespace and verification time of models to show how the erroneous human behavior generation process scales. We demonstrate the method with a case study: the operation of a radiation therapy machine. A potential problem resulting from a generated erroneous human action is discovered. A design intervention is presented which prevents this problem from occurring. We discuss how our method could be used to evaluate larger applications and recommend future paths of development.

  9. Improved Usability of Locomotion Devices Using Human-Centric Taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    law, as the psychophysical attempt to cope with neuromotor noise [3]. The degree to which we observe this trade off may indicate the relative ease...degree rapid, aimed movement, which forms the most basic building blocks of human interaction, the measures of performance it predicts, namely speed and...defining travel in a VE as control of a user’s viewpoint motion. They then identified three basic characteristics of locomotion: (1) direction and

  10. Improving Human/Autonomous System Teaming Through Linguistic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meszaros, Erica L.

    2016-01-01

    An area of increasing interest for the next generation of aircraft is autonomy and the integration of increasingly autonomous systems into the national airspace. Such integration requires humans to work closely with autonomous systems, forming human and autonomous agent teams. The intention behind such teaming is that a team composed of both humans and autonomous agents will operate better than homogenous teams. Procedures exist for licensing pilots to operate in the national airspace system and current work is being done to define methods for validating the function of autonomous systems, however there is no method in place for assessing the interaction of these two disparate systems. Moreover, currently these systems are operated primarily by subject matter experts, limiting their use and the benefits of such teams. Providing additional information about the ongoing mission to the operator can lead to increased usability and allow for operation by non-experts. Linguistic analysis of the context of verbal communication provides insight into the intended meaning of commonly heard phrases such as "What's it doing now?" Analyzing the semantic sphere surrounding these common phrases enables the prediction of the operator's intent and allows the interface to supply the operator's desired information.

  11. Resistant Starch: Promise for Improving Human Health12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birt, Diane F.; Boylston, Terri; Hendrich, Suzanne; Jane, Jay-Lin; Hollis, James; Li, Li; McClelland, John; Moore, Samuel; Phillips, Gregory J.; Rowling, Matthew; Schalinske, Kevin; Scott, M. Paul; Whitley, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing research to develop digestion-resistant starch for human health promotion integrates the disciplines of starch chemistry, agronomy, analytical chemistry, food science, nutrition, pathology, and microbiology. The objectives of this research include identifying components of starch structure that confer digestion resistance, developing novel plants and starches, and modifying foods to incorporate these starches. Furthermore, recent and ongoing studies address the impact of digestion-resistant starches on the prevention and control of chronic human diseases, including diabetes, colon cancer, and obesity. This review provides a transdisciplinary overview of this field, including a description of types of resistant starches; factors in plants that affect digestion resistance; methods for starch analysis; challenges in developing food products with resistant starches; mammalian intestinal and gut bacterial metabolism; potential effects on gut microbiota; and impacts and mechanisms for the prevention and control of colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Although this has been an active area of research and considerable progress has been made, many questions regarding how to best use digestion-resistant starches in human diets for disease prevention must be answered before the full potential of resistant starches can be realized. PMID:24228189

  12. Improving the Status of Human and Material Resources in Public ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nekky Umera

    should provide these facilities in public primary schools in order to make it possible for the achievement of ... problem of lack of access to primary school due to many factors part of which the programme was to address. ... the primary school in order to achieve good standard, have facilities in place, facilitate improvement in ...

  13. Improved Refolding Efficacy of Recombinant Human Interferon α-2b ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Different refolding buffers were employed for refolding the target protein. The refolded proteins were then purified by affinity and gel filtration chromatography. The purified proteins were subjected to circular dichroism (CD) spectropolarimetry and assayed for biological activity in vitro. Results: Increment of pH to 8.5 improved ...

  14. 76 FR 69743 - The Development and Evaluation of Human Cytomegalovirus Vaccines; Public Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-09

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration The Development and Evaluation of Human Cytomegalovirus... Development and Evaluation of Human Cytomegalovirus Vaccines.'' The purpose of the public workshop is to identify and discuss key issues related to the development and evaluation of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV...

  15. Evaluation of Human and Anthropomorphic Test Device Finite Element Models under Spaceflight Loading Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, Jacob P.; Untaroiu, Costin; Somers. Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    In an effort to develop occupant protection standards for future multipurpose crew vehicles, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has looked to evaluate the test device for human occupant restraint with the modification kit (THOR-K) anthropomorphic test device (ATD) in relevant impact test scenarios. With the allowance and support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NASA has performed a series of sled impact tests on the latest developed THOR-K ATD. These tests were performed to match test conditions from human volunteer data previously collected by the U.S. Air Force. The objective of this study was to evaluate the THOR-K finite element (FE) model and the Total HUman Model for Safety (THUMS) FE model with respect to the tests performed. These models were evaluated in spinal and frontal impacts against kinematic and kinetic data recorded in ATD and human testing. Methods: The FE simulations were developed based on recorded pretest ATD/human position and sled acceleration pulses measured during testing. Predicted responses by both human and ATD models were compared to test data recorded under the same impact conditions. The kinematic responses of the models were quantitatively evaluated using the ISO-metric curve rating system. In addition, ATD injury criteria and human stress/strain data were calculated to evaluate the risk of injury predicted by the ATD and human model, respectively. Results: Preliminary results show well-correlated response between both FE models and their physical counterparts. In addition, predicted ATD injury criteria and human model stress/strain values are shown to positively relate. Kinematic comparison between human and ATD models indicates promising biofidelic response, although a slightly stiffer response is observed within the ATD. Conclusion: As a compliment to ATD testing, numerical simulation provides efficient means to assess vehicle safety throughout the design process and further improve the

  16. Using Empathy to Improve Human-Robot Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, André; Leite, Iolanda; Mascarenhas, Samuel; Martinho, Carlos; Paiva, Ana

    For robots to become our personal companions in the future, they need to know how to socially interact with us. One defining characteristic of human social behaviour is empathy. In this paper, we present a robot that acts as a social companion expressing different kinds of empathic behaviours through its facial expressions and utterances. The robot comments the moves of two subjects playing a chess game against each other, being empathic to one of them and neutral towards the other. The results of a pilot study suggest that users to whom the robot was empathic perceived the robot more as a friend.

  17. Improving Collaboration Between Air Force Human Intelligence and Counterintelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    hand that CI does not “fit neatly with HUMINT,” but he goes on to explain the importance of CI techniques such as feeding foreign agents false...D.C.: CQ Press, 2006), 14. 31 AFISR 23-2, 4. 32 LtCol John C. Dymond, “Air Force HUMINT: Phoenix or Albatross ?” (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air War...Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC), 22 July 2008. Dymond, LtCol John C. “Air Force HUMINT: Phoenix or Albatross ?” (Maxwell

  18. Does phytoestrogen supplementation improve cognition in humans? A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaung Zaw, Jay Jay; Howe, Peter Ranald Charles; Wong, Rachel Heloise Xiwen

    2017-09-01

    Recent evidence indicates that resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, can improve cognitive function in postmenopausal women by enhancing cerebral vasodilator responsiveness. We examine the effects of phytoestrogen supplementation on cognition and compare resveratrol with other phytoestrogens. Databases were searched for reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) containing terms describing phytoestrogens together with terms relating to cognition. Effect sizes were determined for changes in cognition. We identified 23 RCTs, 15 with isoflavone and eight with resveratrol or grape formulations. Six soy isoflavone studies showed positive cognitive effects of medium size. Greater benefits were seen in women who were cognitive benefits of resveratrol were seen in four studies of older adults of mixed gender and in postmenopausal women who took 150-200 mg resveratrol daily for at least 14 weeks. No benefits were seen in three studies using red clover or grape formulations. Supplementation with either soy isoflavone or resveratrol improved executive function and memory domains of cognitively normal older adults in half of the included studies, mostly with medium effect sizes. The cognitive benefit of resveratrol was related to improved cerebral perfusion. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  19. Quality Rating and Improvement System State Evaluations and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is a method used by states and local jurisdictions to assess the level of quality of child care and early education programs, improve quality, and convey quality ratings to parents and other consumers. A typical QRIS incorporates the following components: quality standards for participating providers;…

  20. Evaluating PK-12 Professional Learning Communities: An Improvement Science Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodland, Rebecca H.

    2016-01-01

    Professional learning communities (PLCs) have emerged as one of the nation's most widely implemented strategies for improving instruction and PK-12 student learning outcomes. PLCs are predicated on the principles of improvement science, a type of evidenced-based collective inquiry that aims to bridge the research-practice divide and increase…

  1. Edible mushrooms: improving human health and promoting quality life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde, María Elena; Hernández-Pérez, Talía; Paredes-López, Octavio

    2015-01-01

    Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the "Food of the Gods." For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an "elixir of life." They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements.

  2. Exploiting human memory B cell heterogeneity for improved vaccine efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Noel T; Henry Dunand, Carole J; Wilson, Patrick C

    2011-01-01

    The major goal in vaccination is establishment of long-term, prophylactic humoral memory to a pathogen. Two major components to long-lived humoral memory are plasma cells for the production of specific immunoglobulin and memory B cells that survey for their specific antigen in the periphery for later affinity maturation, proliferation, and differentiation. The study of human B cell memory has been aided by the discovery of a general marker for B cell memory, expression of CD27; however, new data suggests the existence of CD27⁻ memory B cells as well. These recently described non-canonical memory populations have increasingly pointed to the heterogeneity of the memory compartment. The novel B memory subsets in humans appear to have unique origins, localization, and functions compared to what was considered to be a "classical" memory B cell. In this article, we review the known B cell memory subsets, the establishment of B cell memory in vaccination and infection, and how understanding these newly described subsets can inform vaccine design and disease treatment.

  3. Exploiting human memory B cell heterogeneity for improved vaccine efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel Thomas Pauli

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The major goal in vaccination is establishment of long-term, prophylactic humoral memory to a pathogen. Two major components to long-lived humoral memory are plasma cells for the production of specific immunoglobulin and memory B cells that survey for their specific antigen in the periphery for later affinity maturation, proliferation, and differentiation. The study of human B cell memory has been aided by the discovery of a general marker for B cell memory, expression of CD27; however, new data suggests the existence of CD27- memory B cells as well. These recently described non-canonical memory populations have increasingly pointed to the heterogeneity of the memory compartment. The novel B memory subsets in humans appear to have unique origins, localization, and functions compared to what was considered to be a classical memory B cell. In this article, we review the known B cell memory subsets, the establishment of B cell memory in vaccination and infection, and how understanding these newly described subsets can inform vaccine design and disease treatment.

  4. Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Elena Valverde

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.” They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements.

  5. Software-based evaluation of human attractiveness: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patzelt, Sebastian B M; Schaible, Leonie K; Stampf, Susanne; Kohal, Ralf J

    2014-11-01

    The difficulty of evaluating esthetics in an unbiased way may be overcome by using automated software applications. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of a smartphone application as an objective tool for evaluating attractiveness and to evaluate its potential in dentistry. Ten white participants (mean age ±SD, 42.1 ±22.6 years) were randomly chosen, and frontal facial pictures of each participant were made. The smartphone application PhotoGenic was used to evaluate the attractiveness of the participants. For comparison, 100 randomly (age>16 years, social environment of the research team) selected raters were asked to evaluate the same participants. The influence of participants' facial expression, age, and sex as well as the raters' age, sex, and occupation was investigated. Statistical analyses (linear mixed models with random intercepts; least square means, 95% confidence interval; Pattractiveness score of 6.4 ±1.2 and the rater group of 4.9 ±1.8 (Pattractiveness scores. The participants' sex, facial expression, and age seemed to not be of high relevance; however, the raters' sex and occupation had an impact on the evaluation. PhotoGenic rated the participants' attractiveness with higher scores (more attractive) than did the human raters. Currently, PhotoGenic is not used as an objective evaluation tool for treatment outcomes for dental treatments because the visibility of the teeth (smiling facial expression) has no influence on the evaluation. Copyright © 2014 Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A US Human Wellbeing Index (HWBI) for evaluating the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The overarching goal of USEPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHCRP) is to inform and empower decision makers to equitably weigh and integrate human health, socio-economic, environmental, and ecological factors to foster sustainability in the built and natural environments. The primary focus of the SHCRP is on developing tools and approaches to help local decision makers understand the effects on sustainability of alternative policies and actions. ORD research to develop a national scale, human wellbeing index (HWBI) has been underway since 2009 with the intention of using this integrated measure as an endpoint for evaluating the influence of social, economic and environmental service flows on human wellbeing. The HWBI incorporates 8 domains of wellbeing, described by 27 indicators, weighted by relative importance values. Tracked over time, the index and its domain components have the potential to serve as measures of sustainable human well-being when linked to alternative decisions that change the ecological, economic, and social states of defined populations. The metrics and methodologies for constructing the national scale measure have been developed and a draft U.S. HWBI has been calculated. Here we describe the methods used to construct the national HWBI, how the index tracks with existing measures of national wellbeing (2000-2010), and suggest next steps for modifying the national index for various spatial scales and population g

  7. Opportunities for Improved Serodiagnosis of Human Tuberculosis, Bovine Tuberculosis, and Paratuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashutosh Wadhwa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterial infections—tuberculosis (TB, bovine tuberculosis (bTB, and Johne’s disease (JD—are major infectious diseases of both human and animals. Methods presently in use for diagnosis of mycobacterial infections include bacterial culture, nucleic acid amplification, tuberculin skin test, interferon-γ assay, and serology. Serological tests have several advantages over other methods, including short turn-around time, relatively simple procedures, and low cost. However, current serodiagnostic methods for TB, bTB and JD exhibit low sensitivity and/or specificity. Recent studies that have aimed to develop improved serodiagnostic tests have mostly focused on identifying useful species-specific protein antigens. A review of recent attempts to improve diagnostic test performance indicates that the use of multiple antigens can improve the accuracy of serodiagnosis of these mycobacterial diseases. Mycobacteria also produce a variety of species-specific nonprotein molecules; however, only a few such molecules (e.g., cord factor and lipoarabinomannan have so far been evaluated for their effectiveness as diagnostic antigens. For TB and bTB, there has been recent progress in developing laboratory-free diagnostic methods. New technologies such as microfluidics and “Lab-on-Chip” are examples of promising new technologies that can underpin development of laboratory-free diagnostic devices for these mycobacterial infections.

  8. Design and development of the BD Odon DeviceTM: a human factors evaluation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, S M; Mouser, A; Odon, J E; Winter, C; Draycott, T J; Sumitro, T; Alisantoso, D; Lim, W L; Merialdi, M; Stankovic, A K; Crofts, J F

    2017-09-01

    To (1) determine how intended users interact with and use the BD Odon Device in simulation, (2) use these findings to alter progressively the design of the BD Odon Device and (3) validate that these changes have improved the ability of practitioners to use the BD Odon Device. Human factors evaluation study. Simulation suite designed to mimic delivery room. Three hundred and ninety simulated operative births, performed by 100 practising clinicians. Simulated operative vaginal births performed using the BD Odon Device and the device Instructions for use were subjected to three formative human factors evaluations and one human factors validation test. Following each evaluation, findings were reviewed and the design of the BD Odon Device and Instructions for use were modified. Successful performance of an operative vaginal birth using the BD Odon Device in accordance with provided training and Instructions for use. Using version two of the BD Odon Device, and following exposure to face-to-face training and written instructions, 25% of accouchers were able successfully to perform a simulated operative vaginal birth. In the final evaluation, following device design and training material alterations, all accouchers were able successfully to perform a simulated operative vaginal birth using version four of the BD Odon Device. Human factors evaluations have enabled a multi-professional device and training materials design team to alter the design of the BD Odon Device and the Instructions for use in an evidence-based fashion. This process has resulted in a device which has a predictable and likely safe pattern of use. Human Factors evaluations help make the BD Odon Device safe and usable for clinical practice. © 2017 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

  9. Prospective Evaluation of Sleep Improvement Following Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulipan, Jacob E; Kim, Nayoung; Abboudi, Jack; Jones, Christopher; Liss, Frederic; Kirkpatrick, William; Matzon, Jonas; Rivlin, Michael; Wang, Mark L; Ilyas, Asif M

    2017-05-01

    Sleep disturbance due to nighttime awakening is a well-documented symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. While relief of nighttime waking following carpal tunnel release (CTR) has been demonstrated, the effect of CTR on overall sleep quality has not been fully investigated. We hypothesized that CTR would result in significant improvement in overall sleep quality as well as patients' overall satisfaction with their sleep habits. Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome with positive nerve studies, and treated with CTR, were prospectively enrolled. Demographic data, electromyography (EMG) severity, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scale data were collected. A total of 398 patients were enrolled, with 99% available at 2 weeks and 64% available at 3-month final follow-up. At final follow-up, average Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score improved significantly from the preoperative value. Average ISI score on all 7 sleep categories on the survey improved significantly from before surgery to the first postoperative visit. However, the total ISI score did not further improve significantly between the 2-week and the 3-month postoperative visits. The ISI score improvements did not correlate with EMG severity. Patients undergoing CTR demonstrated significant improvement in mean scores for 7 aspects of sleep quality. Sleep improvement was unrelated to preoperative EMG severity and was experienced within 2 weeks of surgery. Therapeutic II. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Digital holographic microscopy for the evaluation of human sperm structure

    CERN Document Server

    Coppola, Gianluca; Wilding, Martin; Ferraro, Pietro; Esposito, Giusy; Di Matteo, Loredana; Dale, Roberta; Coppola, Giuseppe; Dale, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The morphology of the sperm head has often been correlated with the outcome of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and has been shown to be the sole parameter in semen of value in predicting the success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI). In this paper, we have studied whether Digital Holographic (DH) microscopy may be useful to obtain quantitative data on human sperm head structure and compared this technique to high power digitally enhanced Nomarski microscope. The main advantage of DH is that a high resolution 3-D quantitative sample imaging may be obtained thorugh numerical refocusing at different object planes without any mechanical scanning. We show that DH can furnish useful information on the dimensions and structure of human spermatozoo, that cannot be revealed by conventional phase contrast microscopy. In fact, in this paper DH has been used to evaluate volume and indicate precise location of vacuoles, thus suggesting its use as ...

  11. A public data set of human balance evaluations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiana A. Santos

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to create a public data set with results of qualitative and quantitative evaluations related to human balance. Subject’s balance was evaluated by posturography using a force platform and by the Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Tests. In the posturography test, we evaluated subjects standing still for 60 s in four different conditions where vision and the standing surface were manipulated: on a rigid surface with eyes open; on a rigid surface with eyes closed; on an unstable surface with eyes open; on an unstable surface with eyes closed. Each condition was performed three times and the order of the conditions was randomized. In addition, the following tests were employed in order to better characterize each subject: Short Falls Efficacy Scale International; International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Version; and Trail Making Test. The subjects were also interviewed to collect information about their socio-cultural, demographic, and health characteristics. The data set comprises signals from the force platform (raw data for the force, moments of forces, and centers of pressure of 163 subjects plus one file with information about the subjects and balance conditions and the results of the other evaluations. All the data is available at PhysioNet and at Figshare.

  12. Improving the Evaluation Model for the Lithuanian Informatics Olympiads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skupiene, Jurate

    2010-01-01

    The Lithuanian Informatics Olympiads (LitIO) is a problem solving programming contest for students in secondary education. The work of the student to be evaluated is an algorithm designed by the student and implemented as a working program. The current evaluation process involves both automated (for correctness and performance of programs with the…

  13. Program Evaluation for School Improvement: Guidelines for School Administrators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Warna D.

    1995-01-01

    Fourth-generation program evaluation is a collaborative, responsive approach that attaches great importance to the claims, concerns, and issues set forth by various stakeholders. This model stresses value pluralism and has several community-involvement phases: planning, data collection, results, final evaluation report, and follow-up. (20…

  14. Reducing World Poverty by Improving Evaluation of Development Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Paul; Chianca, Thomaz; Sasaki, Ryoh

    2008-01-01

    This article argues that given its structural conditions, development aid bears a particularly heavy burden of learning and accountability. Unfortunately, however, the organization of evaluation guarantees that evaluations will be inconsistent and it creates incentives for positive bias. This article presents evidence from organizational studies…

  15. Teacher Evaluation and School Improvement: An Analysis of the Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinger, Philip; Heck, Ronald H.; Murphy, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, substantial investments have been made in reengineering systems of teacher evaluation. The new generation models of teacher evaluation typically adopt a standards-based view of teaching quality and include a value-added measure of growth in student learning. With more than a decade of experience and research, it is timely to…

  16. Evaluation of HeartMath Training Programme for Improving ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of a HeartMath training apparatus on personal resilience and physiological coherence. A within group, pre-test and post-test, outcome evaluative design was employed to assess changes in dependent variables. A small convenience sample of 6 participants, 4 women and ...

  17. MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATIVE IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE AND HUMAN CAPITAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Usmanova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Relevance of the chosen subject is caused by the current state and problems of development of a human capital and potential. The existing changes of the current legislation and a tendency of development of a human capital in Russia in developed countries allow to subject to doubt efficiency of planning of economic and social programs in the country. Also relevance of article is caused by the fact that in the conditions of a transitional economy and integration of economy into the world economy many countries create quality of life of the population according to standards and there is a need of revaluation of values regarding development of a human capital in Russia within the world device.In the first part of article the overview of historical aspects of planning of a human capital and the analysis of high budget revenues becomes. In article it is shown that expenses aren't effectively distributed on regional equalization and on social needs, that is on development of a welfare and a human capital and potential in the country.The second part of article describes one of manifestations of the quality level of life, that is the Minimum Wage (MW which is the main indicator for charge of temporary disability benefits, pension accrual, unemployment benefits, etc.The third part of article reflects the directions of development of innovative management: improvement of quality of life and a human capital where emphasis on need of preparation intellectual the oriented specialists is placed.The purpose/goal .The purpose of article is disclosure, comparison of features, and also determinations of criteria of management of innovative development of quality of life and a human capital in the Russian Federation.Methodology. The methodology of the solution of objectives is based on use of a method of a dialectic research, methods of the economic analysis, forecasting, the situation and system analysis, expert evaluations and the analysis of empirical data

  18. A systematic review of economic evaluations of CHW interventions aimed at improving child health outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkonki, L; Tugendhaft, A; Hofman, K

    2017-02-28

    Evidence of the cost-effectiveness of community health worker interventions is pertinent for decision-makers and programme planners who are turning to community services in order to strengthen health systems in the context of the momentum generated by strategies to support universal health care, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal agenda.We conducted a systematic review of published economic evaluation studies of community health worker interventions aimed at improving child health outcomes. Four public health and economic evaluation databases were searched for studies that met the inclusion criteria: National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), Cochrane, Paediatric Economic Evaluation Database (PEED), and PubMed. The search strategy was tailored to each database.The 19 studies that met the inclusion criteria were conducted in either high income countries (HIC), low- income countries (LIC) and/or middle-income countries (MIC). The economic evaluations covered a wide range of interventions. Studies were grouped together by intended outcome or objective of each study. The data varied in quality. We found evidence of cost-effectiveness of community health worker (CHW) interventions in reducing malaria and asthma, decreasing mortality of neonates and children, improving maternal health, increasing exclusive breastfeeding and improving malnutrition, and positively impacting physical health and psychomotor development amongst children.Studies measured varied outcomes, due to the heterogeneous nature of studies included; a meta-analysis was not conducted. Outcomes included disease- or condition -specific outcomes, morbidity, mortality, and generic measures (e.g. disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)). Nonetheless, all 19 interventions were found to be either cost-effective or highly cost-effective at a threshold specific to their respective countries.There is a growing body of economic evaluation literature on cost-effectiveness of CHW

  19. Software-based evaluation of human age: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patzelt, Sebastian B M; Schaible, Leonie K; Stampf, Susanne; Kohal, Ralf J

    2015-01-01

    This pilot study was to assess a smartphone application regarding its use as an objective evaluation tool for subject age in comparison to human raters and to identify potential factors influencing the estimation of age. Ten Caucasian participants (six females, four males, mean age 42.1 ± 22.6 years) were randomly chosen, and frontal facial pictures of each participant were taken. The smartphone application PhotoAge (Version 1.5, ©2012, Percipo Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA) was used to evaluate the age of the participants. For comparison, 100 randomly selected raters (60 females, 40 males, mean age 29.3 ± 1.3 years) were asked to evaluate the age of the same participants. The influence of participants' facial expression, age, and sex as well as raters' age, sex, and profession was investigated as well. Statistical analyses (linear mixed models with random intercepts; least square means, confidence interval 95%; p < 0.05) were implemented. PhotoAge resulted in a mean age of 43.1 ± 18.2 years, with a difference from the true mean age of 1.0 ± 8.2 years (p = 0.5996). The evaluation by the raters revealed a mean age of 41.5 ± 19.0 years, with a difference from the true mean age of -0.6 ± 8.5 years (p = 0.6078). There was no statistical significance between the two groups (p = 0.2783). The evaluation of age with the software application PhotoAge seems to be a reliable procedure with comparable results to human raters. This study gives a better understanding about the reliability of a software-based evaluation tool for age and identifies factors (e.g., the visibility of the teeth) potentially affecting the estimation of age. Naturally looking teeth seem to have no influence on the evaluation of a person's age. Thus, the application of this specific application for dental purposes is questionable; however, in forensics, it might be a valuable tool for estimating a person's age. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Approaches in Health Human Resource Forecasting: A Roadmap for Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafiei, Sima; Mohebbifar, Rafat; Hashemi, Fariba; Ezzatabadi, Mohammad Ranjbar; Farzianpour, Fereshteh

    2016-09-01

    Forecasting the demand and supply of health manpower in an accurate manner makes appropriate planning possible. The aim of this paper was to review approaches and methods for health manpower forecasting and consequently propose the features that improve the effectiveness of this important process of health manpower planning. A literature review was conducted for studies published in English from 1990-2014 using Pub Med, Science Direct, Pro Quest, and Google Scholar databases. Review articles, qualitative studies, retrospective and prospective studies describing or applying various types of forecasting approaches and methods in health manpower forecasting were included in the review. The authors designed an extraction data sheet based on study questions to collect data on studies' references, designs, and types of forecasting approaches, whether discussed or applied, with their strengths and weaknesses. Forty studies were included in the review. As a result, two main categories of approaches (conceptual and analytical) for health manpower forecasting were identified. Each approach had several strengths and weaknesses. As a whole, most of them were faced with some challenges, such as being static and unable to capture dynamic variables in manpower forecasting and causal relationships. They also lacked the capacity to benefit from scenario making to assist policy makers in effective decision making. An effective forecasting approach is supposed to resolve all the deficits that exist in current approaches and meet the key features found in the literature in order to develop an open system and a dynamic and comprehensive method necessary for today complex health care systems.

  1. Product Design Improvement Using Human-Computer Interaction Method Based on Modal Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Lei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A new kind of product design improvement method was proposed, which was mainly based on modal analysis using human-computer interactive way. And it was used in design improvement of an aerospace assembly to verify the effectiveness. The method made full use of the advantages of human and computer in product design and the work was mainly focused on modal analysis by computer and structure modification by human-computer interaction method. The final design got a better solution than the initial design as the results showed that the base frequency increased by 34.7% from 43.2Hz to 58.2Hz after design improvement and the vibration feature improved a lot. Also the experimental results were close to the simulation results with the relative error was 2.5%. The human-computer method can save cost and time and can provide a reference for other design of new products at the same time.

  2. Evaluation of human enteric viruses in surface water and drinking water resources in southern Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Kristen E; Opryszko, Melissa C; Schissler, James T; Guo, Yayi; Schwab, Kellogg J

    2011-01-01

    An estimated 884 million people worldwide do not have access to an improved drinking water source, and the microbial quality of these sources is often unknown. In this study, a combined tangential flow, hollow fiber ultrafiltration (UF), and real-time PCR method was applied to large volume (100 L) groundwater (N = 4), surface water (N = 9), and finished (i.e., receiving treatment) drinking water (N = 6) samples for the evaluation of human enteric viruses and bacterial indicators. Human enteric viruses including norovirus GI and GII, adenovirus, and polyomavirus were detected in five different samples including one groundwater, three surface water, and one drinking water sample. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli assessed for each sample before and after UF revealed a lack of correlation between bacterial indicators and the presence of human enteric viruses.

  3. Human interaction with robotic systems: performance and workload evaluations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinerman-Jones, L; Barber, D J; Szalma, J L; Hancock, P A

    2017-10-01

    We first tested the effect of differing tactile informational forms (i.e. directional cues vs. static cues vs. dynamic cues) on objective performance and perceived workload in a collaborative human-robot task. A second experiment evaluated the influence of task load and informational message type (i.e. single words vs. grouped phrases) on that same collaborative task. In both experiments, the relationship of personal characteristics (attentional control and spatial ability) to performance and workload was also measured. In addition to objective performance and self-report of cognitive load, we evaluated different physiological responses in each experiment. Results showed a performance-workload association for directional cues, message type and task load. EEG measures however, proved generally insensitive to such task load manipulations. Where significant EEG effects were observed, right hemisphere amplitude differences predominated, although unexpectedly these latter relationships were negative. Although EEG measures were partially associated with performance, they appear to possess limited utility as measures of workload in association with tactile displays. Practitioner Summary: As practitioners look to take advantage of innovative tactile displays in complex operational realms like human-robotic interaction, associated performance effects are mediated by cognitive workload. Despite some patterns of association, reliable reflections of operator state can be difficult to discern and employ as the number, complexity and sophistication of these respective measures themselves increase.

  4. 75 FR 51815 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-23

    ... (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR); Evaluation of the Health... reproduction and/or development and provide opinion on whether these substances are hazardous for humans...

  5. Evaluating School Improvement Plans and Their Affect on Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Kenneth E.

    2011-01-01

    The development of a school improvement plan (SIP) has become an integral part of many school reform efforts. However, there are almost no studies that empirically examine the effectiveness of SIPs. The few studies examining the planning activities of organizations have generally focused on the private sector and have not provided clear or…

  6. Evaluation of economic efficiency of process improvement in food packaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Hron

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In general, we make gains in process by the three fundamental ways. First, we define or redefine our process in a strategic sense. Second, once defined or redefined, we commence process operations and use process control methods to target and stabilize our process. Third, we use process improvement methods, as described in this paper, along with process control to fully exploit our process management and/or technology. Process improvement is focused primarily in our subprocesses and sub-subprocesses. Process leverage is the key to process improvement initiatives. This means that small improvements of the basic manufacturing operations can have (with the assumption of mass repetition of the operation a big impact on the functioning of the whole production unit. The complexity within even small organizations, in people, products, and processes, creates significant challenges in effectively and efficiently using these initiatives tools. In this paper we are going to place process purposes in the foreground and initiatives and tools in the background as facilitator to help accomplish process purpose. Initiatives and tools are not the ends we are seeking; result/outcomes in physical, economics, timeliness, and customer service performance matter. In the paper process boundaries (in a generic sense are set by our process purpose and our process definition. Process improvement is initiated within our existing process boundaries. For example, in a fast-food restaurant, if we define our cooking process around a frying technology, then we provide process improvements within our frying technology. On the other hand, if we are considering changing to a broiling technology, then we are likely faced with extensive change, impacting our external customers, and a process redefinition may be required. The result / aim of the paper are based on the example of the process improving of a food packaging quality. Specifically, the integration of two approaches

  7. An improved multileaving algorithm for online ranker evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brost, Brian; Cox, Ingemar Johansson; Seldin, Yevgeny

    2016-01-01

    Online ranker evaluation is a key challenge in information retrieval. An important task in the online evaluation of rankers is using implicit user feedback for inferring preferences between rankers. Interleaving methods have been found to be ecient and sensitive, i.e. they can quickly detect even...... small dierences in quality. It has recently been shown that multileaving methods exhibit similar sensitivity but can be more ecient than interleaving methods. This paper presents empirical results demonstrating that existing multileaving methods either do not scale well with the number of rankers, or......, more problematically, can produce results which substantially dier from evaluation measures like NDCG. The latter problem is caused by the fact that they do not correctly account for the similarities that can occur between rankers being multileaved. We propose a new multileaving method for handling...

  8. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cideciyan, Artur V; Jacobson, Samuel G; Beltran, William A; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J; Olivares, Melani B; Schwartz, Sharon B; Komáromy, András M; Hauswirth, William W; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2013-02-05

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) associated with retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein 65 kDa (RPE65) mutations is a severe hereditary blindness resulting from both dysfunction and degeneration of photoreceptors. Clinical trials with gene augmentation therapy have shown partial reversal of the dysfunction, but the effects on the degeneration are not known. We evaluated the consequences of gene therapy on retinal degeneration in patients with RPE65-LCA and its canine model. In untreated RPE65-LCA patients, there was dysfunction and degeneration of photoreceptors, even at the earliest ages. Examined serially over years, the outer photoreceptor nuclear layer showed progressive thinning. Treated RPE65-LCA showed substantial visual improvement in the short term and no detectable decline from this new level over the long term. However, retinal degeneration continued to progress unabated. In RPE65-mutant dogs, the first one-quarter of their lifespan showed only dysfunction, and there was normal outer photoreceptor nuclear layer thickness retina-wide. Dogs treated during the earlier dysfunction-only stage showed improved visual function and dramatic protection of treated photoreceptors from degeneration when measured 5-11 y later. Dogs treated later during the combined dysfunction and degeneration stage also showed visual function improvement, but photoreceptor loss continued unabated, the same as in human RPE65-LCA. The results suggest that, in RPE65 disease treatment, protection from visual function deterioration cannot be assumed to imply protection from degeneration. The effects of gene augmentation therapy are complex and suggest a need for a combinatorial strategy in RPE65-LCA to not only improve function in the short term but also slow retinal degeneration in the long term.

  9. Human conditionally immortalized neural stem cells improve locomotor function after spinal cord injury in the rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Introduction A growing number of studies have highlighted the potential of stem cell and more-differentiated neural cell transplantation as intriguing therapeutic approaches for neural repair after spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods A conditionally immortalized neural stem cell line derived from human fetal spinal cord tissue (SPC-01) was used to treat a balloon-induced SCI. SPC-01 cells were implanted into the lesion 1 week after SCI. To determine the feasibility of tracking transplanted stem cells, a portion of the SPC-01 cells was labeled with poly-L-lysine-coated superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles, and the animals grafted with labeled cells underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Functional recovery was evaluated by using the BBB and plantar tests, and lesion morphology, endogenous axonal sprouting and graft survival, and differentiation were analyzed. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to evaluate the effect of transplanted SPC-01 cells on endogenous regenerative processes. Results Transplanted animals displayed significant motor and sensory improvement 2 months after SCI, when the cells robustly survived in the lesion and partially filled the lesion cavity. qPCR revealed the increased expression of rat and human neurotrophin and motor neuron genes. The grafted cells were immunohistologically positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); however, we found 25% of the cells to be positive for Nkx6.1, an early motor neuron marker. Spared white matter and the robust sprouting of growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43)+ axons were found in the host tissue. Four months after SCI, the grafted cells matured into Islet2+ and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)+ neurons, and the graft was grown through with endogenous neurons. Grafted cells labeled with poly-L-lysine-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles before transplantation were detected in the lesion on T2-weighted images as hypointense spots that correlated with histologic staining for

  10. Morphological Texture Manipulation for The Evaluation of Human Visual Sensibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, Chie Muraki; Asano, Akira; Li, Liang; Fujimoto, Takako

    Since the surface texture of materials often affects human visual impressions as much as or more than the design, shape, or color properties, texture characteristics have been studied as features of object identification. We have been investigating the effect of texture on visual impression and objective identification using black fabrics that do not exhibit any effects of color. Our studies showed that visual impressions of texture correspond to complex micro-components and global structures of image features of those textures. Our results also showed that some important elements influence human visual impressions and identification of textures. Because of a variety of fibrous structures, it is not easy to provide a systematic analysis of clothing materials. Nevertheless, developing the method and collecting data on these elements and their effects using these image features will be important. To make this research applicable for wider use, we have been studying precisely what it is about an arbitrary texture that influences human visual impressions and sensibility. As a new step, in this paper, a texture is altered and transformed using the parameter estimation method of texture based on mathematical morphology, which is often used for extracting image components that are useful for representation and description. A texture is decomposed into a primitive and grain arrangement which correspond to local and global characteristics, respectively. Different textures are created by modifying the primitive and the arrangement to investigate the effects of modifications of local and global features. The relationship between the parameters and visual impressions of the modified textures were evaluated. This study shows that influence of both local and global structures of the texture along with their combinations and mutual interactions are important for identification of human visual impression.

  11. PET evaluation of the dopamine system of the human brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.S.; Gatley, S. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States)]|[SUNY-Stony Brook, NY (United States)] [and others

    1996-07-01

    Dopamine plays a pivotal role in the regulation and control of movement, motivation and cognition. It also is closely linked to reward, reinforcement and addiction. Abnormalities in brain dopamine are associated with many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson`s disease, schizophrenia and substance abuse. This close association between dopamine and neurological and psychiatric diseases and with substance abuse make it an important topic in research in the neurosciences and an important molecular target in drug development. PET enables the direct measurement of components of the dopamine system in the living human brain. It relies on radiotracers which label dopamine receptors, dopamine transporters, precursors of dopamine or compounds which have specificity for the enzymes which degrade dopamine. Additionally, by using tracers that provide information on regional brain metabolism or blood flow as well as neurochemically specific pharmacological interventions, PET can be used to assess the functional consequences of change in brain dopamine activity. PET dopamine measurements have been used to investigate the normal human brain and its involvement in psychiatric and neurological diseases. It has also been used in psychopharmacological research to investigate dopamine drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson`s disease and of schizophrenia as well as to investigate the effects of drugs of abuse on the dopamine system. Since various functional and neurochemical parameters can be studied in the same subject, PET enables investigation of the functional integrity of the dopamine system in the human brain and investigation of the interactions of dopamine with other neurotransmitters. This paper summarizes the different tracers and experimental strategies developed to evaluate the various elements of the dopamine system in the human brain with PET and their applications to clinical research. 254 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Improving the Understanding of Pathogenesis of Human Papillomavirus 16 via Mapping Protein-Protein Interaction Network

    OpenAIRE

    Yongcheng Dong; Qifan Kuang; Xu Dai; Rong Li; Yiming Wu; Weijia Leng; Yizhou Li; Menglong Li

    2015-01-01

    The human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) has high risk to lead various cancers and afflictions, especially, the cervical cancer. Therefore, investigating the pathogenesis of HPV16 is very important for public health. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network between HPV16 and human was used as a measure to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. By adopting sequence and topological features, a support vector machine (SVM) model was built to predict new interactions between HPV16 and human p...

  13. Anticipated identification costs: Improving assortment evaluation by diagnostic attributes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Herpen, van E.; Pieters, F.G.M.

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Consumers often make quick assessments of product assortments, to determine if these are worthwhile for further investigation. They anticipate how difficult it will be to distinguish the various options in the assortment, which will influence their assortment evaluations. We reason that

  14. Land Evaluation for improved Rice Production in Watari Irrigation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study aimed at raising irrigated rice production in Watari Irrigation scheme, in Kano state, as to bridge the gap between the demand for rice and its supply. The food and Agricultural Organization FAO, (1985) frame work for land evaluation for irrigated rice production was employed, and the soil map of the study area has ...

  15. Improved Estimation of Entropy for Evaluation of Word Sense Induction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, L.; Titov, I.; Sporleder, C.

    2014-01-01

    Information-theoretic measures are among the most standard techniques for evaluation of clustering methods including word sense induction (WSI) systems. Such measures rely on sample-based estimates of the entropy. However, the standard maximum likelihood estimates of the entropy are heavily biased

  16. land evaluation for improved rice production in watari irrigation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMINU

    other recommendations include land leveling and conservation measures to control the effects of erosional hazards and slope steepness. Keywords: Suitability, Evaluation and Irrigated rice. .... Rice been a salt tolerant crop records an electrical conductivity of < 3mmho/cm compared with other cereals (IRRI, 1995).

  17. Evaluation of Agricultural Accounting Software. Improved Decision Making. Third Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Ashley C., Comp.

    Following a discussion of the evaluation criteria for choosing accounting software, this guide contains reviews of 27 accounting software programs that could be used by farm or ranch business managers. The information in the reviews was provided by the software vendors and covers the following points for each software package: general features,…

  18. Prioritizing Improvable Human Capital Processes in Esfahan Oil Refinery Company Based on PCF and by IPA approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Behmanesh

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Development and management of human capital is an important task because it affects the performance of organization and hence the process improvements. However, it is necessary to deploy performance evaluation to prioritize improvable processes due to limited human resource, time and equipments. The objective of this research is to evaluate performance of the developed and managed human capital based upon the predetermined key performance indicators of American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC and to prioritize processes by Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA approach. As a case study, Esfahan Oil Refining Company (EORC has been studied. In order to analyze hypotheses, the state of human resource has been determined through data extracting among the best practice industries, and hence the strengths and weaknesses of the EORC have been identified. Finally, fuzzy numbers have been assigned to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs and then the processes have been measured using the average value of its related KPIs. Consequently, the importance of the developed and managed human capital processes could be determined using the five points Likert spectrum. The reliability of the questionnaire has been determined by the Cronbach's Alpha of higher than 0.7, which is satisfactory. Findings imply that 10 out of 35 HCM processes in needs of improvement are prioritized as managing employee performance managing employee relations managing employee orientation and deployment developing and managing employee metrics developing and training employees managing employee communication managing human resource information systems (HRIS managing and maintaining employee data managing employee inquiry process and developing and managing time and attendance.

  19. An integrated conceptual framework for evaluating and improving 'understanding' in informed consent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossert, Sabine; Strech, Daniel

    2017-10-17

    The development of understandable informed consent (IC) documents has proven to be one of the most important challenges in research with humans as well as in healthcare settings. Therefore, evaluating and improving understanding has been of increasing interest for empirical research on IC. However, several conceptual and practical challenges for the development of understandable IC documents remain unresolved. In this paper, we will outline and systematize some of these challenges. On the basis of our own experiences in empirical user testing of IC documents as well as the relevant literature on understanding in IC, we propose an integrated conceptual model for the development of understandable IC documents. The proposed conceptual model integrates different methods for the participatory improvement of written information, including IC, as well as quantitative methods for measuring understanding in IC. In most IC processes, understandable written information is an important prerequisite for valid IC. To improve the quality of IC documents, a conceptual model for participatory procedures of testing, revising, and retesting can be applied. However, the model presented in this paper needs further theoretical and empirical elaboration and clarification of several conceptual and practical challenges.

  20. Evaluating the Mechanisms of Improved Glucose Homeostasis after Bariatric Surgery in Ossabaw Miniature Swine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan G. Sham

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB is the most common bariatric operation; however, the mechanism underlying the profound weight-independent effects on glucose homeostasis remains unclear. Large animal models of naturally occurring insulin resistance (IR, which have been lacking, would provide opportunities to elucidate such mechanisms. Ossabaw miniature swine naturally exhibit many features that may be useful in evaluating the anti diabetic effects of bariatric surgery. Methods. Glucose homeostasis was studied in 53 Ossabaw swine. Thirty-two received an obesogenic diet and were randomized to RYGB, gastrojejunostomy (GJ, gastrojejunostomy with duodenal exclusion (GJD, or Sham operations. Intravenous glucose tolerance tests and standardized meal tolerance tests were performed prior to, 1, 2, and 8 weeks after surgery and at a single time-point for regular diet control pigs. Results. High-calorie-fed Ossabaws weighed more and had greater IR than regular diet controls, though only 70% developed IR. All operations caused weight-loss-independent improvement in IR, though only in pigs with high baseline IR. Only RYGB induced weight loss and decreased IR in the majority of pigs, as well as increasing AUCinsulin/AUCglucose. Conclusions. Similar to humans, Ossabaw swine exhibit both obesity-dependent and obesity-independent IR. RYGB promoted weight loss, IR improvement, and increased AUCinsulin/AUCglucose, compared to the smaller changes following GJ and GJD, suggesting a combination of upper and lower gut mechanisms in improving glucose homeostasis.

  1. An evaluation of ergonomic improvements in the woodworking industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdorf, A; van Duuren, L

    1993-12-01

    A survey was conducted among operators in the woodworking industry to study the effect of machine characteristics on exposure to mechanical load. The 28 subjects worked in five small factories and operated four-sided planing machines. Work postures and external load were analysed with the Ovako working posture analysis system. Among the operators awkward postures regularly occurred, such as a bent or twisted back (25%), outstretched arms (25%) and a twisted head (28%). The average percentage of time spent with lifting and carrying wooden boards and planks was 41%. The statistical analysis indicated that beneficial effects on postural load were achieved by various ergonomic improvements, such as rising platforms and roller paths. Work time with external load was reduced by 10% as a result of the presence of rising platforms and tables. The type of analysis presented may guide towards the improvement of work conditions of operators of planing machines by reducing mechanical load on the body.

  2. Improving the Rigor of Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluations: Lessons for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Researchers

    OpenAIRE

    Brian Goesling; Joanne Lee

    2015-01-01

    This research brief highlights three ways to improve the rigor of quasi-experimental impact evaluations of social and public health interventions, focusing specifically on evaluations of teen pregnancy prevention programs.

  3. Recommendations and Improvements for the Evaluation of Integrated Community-Wide Interventions Approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Koperen, Tessa M; Renders, Carry M; Spierings, Eline J M; Hendriks, Anna-Marie; Westerman, Marjan J; Seidell, Jacob C; Schuit, Albertine J

    2016-01-01

    Background. Integrated community-wide intervention approaches (ICIAs) are implemented to prevent childhood obesity. Programme evaluation improves these ICIAs, but professionals involved often struggle with performance. Evaluation tools have been developed to support Dutch professionals involved in

  4. Thrombospondin-2 gene silencing in human aortic smooth muscle cells improves cell attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Shunsuke; Nabzdyk, Christoph S; Pradhan, Leena; LoGerfo, Frank W

    2011-11-01

    Despite decades of research, anastomotic intimal hyperplasia remains a major cause of delayed prosthetic arterial graft failure. Previously, we reported profound upregulation of thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2) mRNA in neointimal smooth muscle cells after prosthetic arterial bypass graft placement. TSP-2 is an antiangiogenic matricellular protein with specific functions yet unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that inhibition of TSP-2 in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HAoSMCs) would reduce cell proliferation and migration in vitro, providing a therapeutic target to mitigate intimal hyperplasia. HAoSMCs were transfected with TSP-2 small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) using a commercial transfection reagent. Gene silencing was evaluated using semiquantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. ELISA was used to measure TSP-2 protein levels in cell culture supernatants. Cell migration and proliferation were assessed using scratch wound assays and alamar blue assays, respectively. Attachment assays were performed to assess the effect of TSP-2 silencing on HAoSMC adhesion to fibronectin. TSP-2 siRNA achieved consistent target gene silencing at 48 hours post-transfection in HAoSMCs. This single transfection allowed suppression of TSP-2 protein expression for more than 30 days. TSP-2 gene silencing did not affect HAoSMC migration or proliferation. MMP-2 levels were also unaffected by changes in TSP-2 protein levels. However, HAoSMC attachment to fibronectin improved significantly in cells treated with TSP-2 siRNA. siRNA-mediated TSP-2 silencing of human aortic HAoSMCs improved cell attachment but had no effect on cell migration or proliferation. The effect on cell attachment was unrelated to changes in MMP activity. Copyright © 2011 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Evaluation of barriers and resilience to improve organizational performance in nuclear power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, P. F.; Martin del Campo, C., E-mail: pnelson_007@yahoo.com [UNAM, Facultad de Ingenieria, Departamento de Sistemas Energeticos, Paseo Cuauhnahuac 8532, Jiutepec 62550, Morelos (Mexico)

    2014-10-15

    In this study, several models are built from the information contained in the Condition Reports from the Corrective Action Program ar a nuclear power plant. Condition Reports are seen as indications of organizational stress levels with consequential Condition Reports being further evidence of organizational resilience being exceeded. Also contained in this paper is an examination of methods used to assess organizational resilience thresholds to preclude consequential events, based on examination of the number and severity of the Condition Reports. In combination with PSA risk insights, it is possible to identify risk significant procedures and their corresponding risk significant steps. Leading indicators can be used to identify the need for installing a barrier or defense to reduce human errors in a nuclear power plant. These indicators are developed from the Corrective Action Program data by detecting increases in events. Organizational barriers can then be identified to improve performance. The resulting identified barriers are evaluated to rank the value of each possible barrier, and determine the best barrier(s) to implement. The tool described in this paper is designed to provide a systematic approach to identify areas where improvements in organizational effectiveness best reduce the likelihood of consequential events. Due to the uncertainty of many of the factors that influence the performance of humans in nuclear power plant activities, we propose using Bayesian networks to identify sources of organizational errors leading to consequential events. This study, using actual nuclear power plant data, includes a method for data processing and highlights some potential uses of Bayesian networks for improving organizational effectiveness in the nuclear power industry. (Author)

  6. Experimental Evaluation of Brittle Crack Propagation Velocity - an Improved Technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Debel, Christian

    1979-01-01

    A short review of experimental methods currently used in evaluating the velocity of fast crack extension is given. The technique of applying a surface deposited grid gauge has been innovated. This new technique involves a grid produced by a photo-chemical method and an electronic registration cir...... circuit based on integrated transistor-transistor logic. This new method has been applied to experimental studies of brittle crack extension in steel at temperatures between −115 and +22°C.......A short review of experimental methods currently used in evaluating the velocity of fast crack extension is given. The technique of applying a surface deposited grid gauge has been innovated. This new technique involves a grid produced by a photo-chemical method and an electronic registration...

  7. Fiscal 1999 technological survey report. Part 1. Applied technology for measuring human sense (Human sense measuring manual - human sense evaluation index guideline); Ningen kankaku keisoku manual. 1. Ningen kankaku hyoka shihyo guide line

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-03-01

    A method of measuring/evaluating a mental and physical state by means of physiological information developed by a project was compiled into a 'guide book', as was a method of evaluating adaptability to the environment or products; and, this manual was prepared for the purpose of improving the adaptability of human beings to products by making use of the guide book widely in the field of industrial manufacturing. Described in the part 1 are a method of evaluating human mind and body by the measurement of physiological quantity, a method of evaluating mental and physical adaptability from the element of environmental physics such as vision, sound and warmth, and a method of evaluating adaptability concerning utilization of machines and equipment, as 'human sense evaluation indexes'. The chapter 1 is the index of physiological/psychological state (stress evaluation index, fatigue/awakening evaluation index), the chapter 2 is an environmental/psychological index (overall environmental evaluation index, visual environmental effect index, sound/vibration environmental evaluation index, thermal environmental evaluation index), the chapter 3 is an adaptability evaluation index of products and the like (adaptability evaluation index by form and movement, evaluation index for operability of equipment for example), and the chapter 4 is the guideline (of environmental design and of product design). (NEDO)

  8. An acute stroke evaluation app: a practice improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Mark N; Fugate, Jennifer E; Barrett, Kevin M; Rabinstein, Alejandro A; Flemming, Kelly D

    2015-04-01

    A point-of-care workflow checklist in the form of an iOS (iPhone Operating System) app for use by stroke providers was introduced with the objective of standardizing acute stroke evaluation and documentation at 2 affiliated academic medical centers. Providers used the app in unselected, consecutive patients undergoing acute stroke evaluation in an emergency department or hospital setting between August 2012 and January 2013 and August 2013 and February 2014. Satisfaction surveys were prospectively collected pre- and postintervention from residents, staff neurologists, and clinical data specialists. Residents (20 preintervention and 16 postintervention), staff neurologists (6 pre and 5 post), and clinical data specialists (4 pre and 4 post) participated in this study. All 16 (100%) residents had increased satisfaction with their ability to perform an acute stroke evaluation postintervention but only 9 (56%) of 16 felt the app was more help than hindrance. Historical controls aligned with preintervention results. Staff neurologists conveyed increased satisfaction with resident presentations and decision making when compared to preintervention surveys. Stroke clinical data specialists estimated a 50% decrease in data abstraction when the app data were used in the clinical note. Concomitant effect on door-to-needle (DTN) time at 1 site, although not a primary study measure, was also evaluated. At that 1 center, the mean DTN time decreased by 16 minutes when compared to the corresponding months from the year prior. The point-of-care acute stroke workflow checklist app may assist trainees in presenting findings in a standardized manner and reduce data abstraction time. The app may help reduce DTN time, but this requires further study.

  9. Genetically engineered mesenchymal stromal cells produce IL-3 and TPO to further improve human scaffold-based xenograft models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretta, Marco; de Boer, Bauke; Jaques, Jenny; Antonelli, Antonella; Horton, Sarah J; Yuan, Huipin; de Bruijn, Joost D; Groen, Richard W J; Vellenga, Edo; Schuringa, Jan Jacob

    2017-07-01

    Recently, NOD-SCID IL2Rγ -/- (NSG) mice were implanted with human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in the presence of ceramic scaffolds or Matrigel to mimic the human bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. This approach allowed the engraftment of leukemic samples that failed to engraft in NSG mice without humanized niches and resulted in a better preservation of leukemic stem cell self-renewal properties. To further improve our humanized niche scaffold model, we genetically engineered human MSCs to secrete human interleukin-3 (IL-3) and thrombopoietin (TPO). In vitro, these IL-3- and TPO-producing MSCs were superior in expanding human cord blood (CB) CD34 + hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. MLL-AF9-transduced CB CD34 + cells could be transformed efficiently along myeloid or lymphoid lineages on IL-3- and TPO-producing MSCs. In vivo, these genetically engineered MSCs maintained their ability to differentiate into bone, adipocytes, and other stromal components. Upon transplantation of MLL-AF9-transduced CB CD34 + cells, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) developed in engineered scaffolds, in which a significantly higher percentage of myeloid clones was observed in the mouse compartments compared with previous models. Engraftment of primary AML, B-cell ALL, and biphenotypic acute leukemia (BAL) patient samples was also evaluated, and all patient samples could engraft efficiently; the myeloid compartment of the BAL samples was better preserved in the human cytokine scaffold model. In conclusion, we show that we can genetically engineer the ectopic human BM microenvironment in a humanized scaffold xenograft model. This approach will be useful for functional study of the importance of niche factors in normal and malignant human hematopoiesis. Copyright © 2017 ISEH - International Society for Experimental Hematology. All rights reserved.

  10. An evaluation of a frontline led quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel; Hartfield, Dawn

    2016-10-03

    Purpose The Edmonton Zone, one of five Zones in Alberta Health Services (the health system in the province of Alberta, Canada), established a quality management framework (QMF) as a means to improve the delivery of high quality health care in the spring of 2014. The purpose of this research study was to understand the factors that facilitated or hindered the implementation of a quality improvement (QI) initiative for hand hygiene led by a newly formed frontline unit quality council (UQC), a part of the QMF, based out of the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the Stollery Children's Hospital in the Edmonton Zone. This research will provide an understanding of the newly established QMF in the Edmonton Zone and the factors needed to foster the ongoing development of frontline UQC that do improvement work as part of their daily routine. Design/methodology/approach Using a qualitative case study research design data were collected using semi-structured open-ended interviews with six key stakeholders (one registered nurse, one physician, one patient case manager, medical director for QI, clinical QI consultant and director of clinical QI) involved in UQC at the PICU. Findings Individual, unit and organizational level factors were identified as influencing the function of the UQC. Leadership and work culture were the key facilitating factors to success and lack of QI training and personnel/dedicated time were perceived barriers to completing the QI initiative. Originality/value The findings from this research illustrate that frontline UQC are able to impact positive sustained change early in their establishment as part of a larger QMF. It is important, however, for the system to foster ongoing development of capacity and capability of these frontline UQC to ensure sustained success of the larger systems change.

  11. Improved patient specific seizure detection during pre-surgical evaluation.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Chua, Eric C-P

    2011-04-01

    There is considerable interest in improved off-line automated seizure detection methods that will decrease the workload of EEG monitoring units. Subject-specific approaches have been demonstrated to perform better than subject-independent ones. However, for pre-surgical diagnostics, the traditional method of obtaining a priori data to train subject-specific classifiers is not practical. We present an alternative method that works by adapting the threshold of a subject-independent to a specific subject based on feedback from the user.

  12. An evaluation framework for Health Information Systems: human, organization and technology-fit factors (HOT-fit).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusof, Maryati Mohd; Kuljis, Jasna; Papazafeiropoulou, Anastasia; Stergioulas, Lampros K

    2008-06-01

    The realization of Health Information Systems (HIS) requires rigorous evaluation that addresses technology, human and organization issues. Our review indicates that current evaluation methods evaluate different aspects of HIS and they can be improved upon. A new evaluation framework, human, organization and technology-fit (HOT-fit) was developed after having conducted a critical appraisal of the findings of existing HIS evaluation studies. HOT-fit builds on previous models of IS evaluation--in particular, the IS Success Model and the IT-Organization Fit Model. This paper introduces the new framework for HIS evaluation that incorporates comprehensive dimensions and measures of HIS and provides a technological, human and organizational fit. Literature review on HIS and IS evaluation studies and pilot testing of developed framework. The framework was used to evaluate a Fundus Imaging System (FIS) of a primary care organization in the UK. The case study was conducted through observation, interview and document analysis. The main findings show that having the right user attitude and skills base together with good leadership, IT-friendly environment and good communication can have positive influence on the system adoption. Comprehensive, specific evaluation factors, dimensions and measures in the new framework (HOT-fit) are applicable in HIS evaluation. The use of such a framework is argued to be useful not only for comprehensive evaluation of the particular FIS system under investigation, but potentially also for any Health Information System in general.

  13. Biomarkers for the evaluation of human health risks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra S. Arango V

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the field of human health, the development, validation, anduse of biomarkers as information tools to assess risk factorsassociated with exposure to environmental agents increasesdaily. This is a result of the need to understand the adverseeffects of the various work environments and lifestyles. Abiomarker is an event that takes place in a biological system andis understood as an indicator of health status, life expectancy,or disease risk. Biomarkers usually fall within the followingcategories: exposure, effect, and susceptibility biomarkers. Thisreview will discuss their importance in understanding differentaspects of diseases such as diagnosis, treatment, prevention,disease progression, response to therapy, and their applicationin toxicological experimental evaluation for the developmentof drugs or pesticides. Furthermore, their contribution to thedevelopment of different fields of study such as toxicology,occupational health, and carcinogenesis shall also be discussed.

  14. Microbiological evaluation of chicken feet intended for human consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Dutra Resem Brizio

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Chicken feet are products with great commercial importance for the eastern markets. Although Brazil is a large exporter of these products to those markets, little information is available on the sanitary quality of these products. The objective of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of frozen chicken feet for human consumption. This study was developed in a slaughterhouse under Federal Inspection, located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. A total of 98 samples of frozen chicken feet were analyzed, between January and December 2011, for the detection of Salmonella spp., total count of mesophilic bacteria, total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus coagulase positive and Clostridium perfringens. About 99% of the results were within the microbiological standards established by the Chinese (world´s largest importer and Brazilian legislation for raw chicken meat. Thus, we conclude that the samples of frozen chicken feet showed satisfactory microbiological quality and no risk to consumer health.

  15. Packaging Evaluation Approach to Improve Cosmetic Product Safety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedetta Briasco

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Regulation 1223/2009, evaluation of packaging has become mandatory to assure cosmetic product safety. In fact, the safety assessment of a cosmetic product can be successfully carried out only if the hazard deriving from the use of the designed packaging for the specific product is correctly evaluated. Despite the law requirement, there is too little information about the chemical-physical characteristics of finished packaging and the possible interactions between formulation and packaging; furthermore, different from food packaging, the cosmetic packaging is not regulated and, to date, appropriate guidelines are still missing. The aim of this work was to propose a practical approach to investigate commercial polymeric containers used in cosmetic field, especially through mechanical properties’ evaluation, from a safety point of view. First of all, it is essential to obtain complete information about raw materials. Subsequently, using an appropriate full factorial experimental design, it is possible to investigate the variables, like polymeric density, treatment, or type of formulation involved in changes to packaging properties or in formulation-packaging interaction. The variation of these properties can greatly affect cosmetic safety. In particular, mechanical properties can be used as an indicator of pack performances and safety. As an example, containers made of two types of polyethylene with different density, low-density polyethylene (LDPE and high-density polyethylene (HDPE, are investigated. Regarding the substances potentially extractable from the packaging, in this work the headspace solid-phase microextraction method (HSSPME was used because this technique was reported in the literature as suitable to detect extractables from the polymeric material here employed.

  16. Improvement of Radiation-Mediated Immunosuppression of Human NSCLC Tumour Xenografts in a Nude Rat Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey V. Tokalov

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Human tumour xenografts in a nude rat model have consistently been used as an essential part of preclinical studies for anticancer drugs activity in human. Commonly, these animals receive whole body irradiation to assure immunosuppression. But whole body dose delivery might be inhomogeneous and the resulting incomplete bone marrow depletion may modify tumour behaviour. To improve irradiation-mediated immunosuppression of human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC xenografts in a nude rat model irradiation (2 + 2 Gy from opposite sides of animals has been performed using a conventional X-ray tube. The described modification of whole body irradiation improves growth properties of human NSCLC xenografts in a nude rat model. The design of the whole body irradiation mediated immunosuppression described here for NSCLC xenografts may be useful for research applications involving other types of human tumours.

  17. Medical humanities play an important role in improving the doctor-patient relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fan; Song, Zhenzhen; Zhang, Wen; Xiao, Yawen

    2017-05-23

    Doctors in China have been wounded or even killed in frequent violence as conflict between doctors and patients has intensified. China has had a massive dearth of medical students over the past decade and doctors are dissatisfied with conditions in their profession. Conditions in medicine are not conducive to medical reform. This paper notes that the main factors affecting the doctor-patient relationship are a lack of humanity in medicine, the predominance of techniques and technologies, and inappropriate administration of hospitals. These factors are related to a lack of medical humanities. This paper describes several steps to make medicine more humane and to help establish a harmonious doctor-patient relationship, including improved humanities education for doctors and medical students, ending the predominance of techniques and technologies, bringing back "humanity" in medicine, and improving the administration of hospitals.

  18. Metadata Evaluation and Improvement: Evolving Analysis and Reporting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habermann, Ted; Kozimor, John; Gordon, Sean

    2017-01-01

    ESIP Community members create and manage a large collection of environmental datasets that span multiple decades, the entire globe, and many parts of the solar system. Metadata are critical for discovering, accessing, using and understanding these data effectively and ESIP community members have successfully created large collections of metadata describing these data. As part of the White House Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI), ESDIS has developed a suite of tools for evaluating these metadata in native dialects with respect to recommendations from many organizations. We will describe those tools and demonstrate evolving techniques for sharing results with data providers.

  19. An evaluation of human factors research for ultrasonic inservice inspection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pond, D.J.; Donohoo, D.T.; Harris, R.V. Jr.

    1998-03-01

    This work was undertaken to determine if human factors research has yielded information applicable to upgrading requirements in ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section XI, improving methods and techniques in Section V, and/or suggesting relevant research. A preference was established for information and recommendations which have become accepted and standard practice. Manual Ultrasonic Testing/Inservice Inspection (UT/ISI) is a complex task subject to influence by dozens of variables. This review frequently revealed equivocal findings regarding effects of environmental variables as well as repeated indications that inspection performance may be more, and more reliably, influenced by the workers` social environment, including managerial practices, than by other situational variables. Also of significance are each inspector`s relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities, and determination of these is seen as a necessary first step in upgrading requirements, methods, and techniques as well as in focusing research in support of such programs, While understanding the effects and mediating mechanisms of the variables impacting inspection performance is a worthwhile pursuit for researchers, initial improvements in industrial UTASI performance may be achieved by implementing practices already known to mitigate the effects of potentially adverse conditions. 52 refs., 2 tabs.

  20. Evaluation of Potential Probiotics Isolated from Human Milk and Colostrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damaceno, Quésia S; Souza, Jaqueline P; Nicoli, Jacques R; Paula, Raquel L; Assis, Gabriela B; Figueiredo, Henrique C; Azevedo, Vasco; Martins, Flaviano S

    2017-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated a diversity of bacterial species in human milk, even in aseptically collected samples. The present study evaluated potential probiotic bacteria isolated from human milk and associated maternal variables. Milk samples were collected from 47 healthy women and cultured on selective and universal agar media under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Bacterial isolates were counted and identified by Biotyper Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight mass spectrometry and then tested for probiotic properties. Total bacteria in human milk ranged from 1.5 to 4.0 log10 CFU/mL. The higher bacterial counts were found in colostrum (mean = 3.9 log10 CFU/mL, 95% CI 3.14-4.22, p = 0.00001). The most abundant species was Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 76). The potential probiotic candidates were Lactobacillus gasseri (n = 4), Bifidobacterium breve (n = 1), and Streptococcus salivarius (n = 4). Despite the small sample size, L. gasseri was isolated only in breast milk from mothers classified into a normal weight range and after a vaginally delivered partum. No potential probiotics showed antagonism against pathogens, but all of them agglutinated different pathogens. Nine bacterial isolates belonging to the species L. gasseri, B. breve, and S. salivarius were selected as potential probiotics. The present study confirms the presence in breast milk of a bacterial microbiota that could be the source of potential probiotic candidates to be used in the formula of simulated maternal milk.

  1. Evaluation of human-induced vibration of continuous footbridges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Robaa Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the development of construction materials and the introduction of high strength steel and concrete, the human-induced vibration became a dominant criterion for the design of pedestrian bridges. Currently, longer spans and lightweight bridges have been comprised in most of design trends. This leads to lower the natural frequencies of the system which have a great effect on the dynamic performance of bridges subjected to human activities. Although the design of steel footbridges could reach the optimum level of design in terms of strength criterion, it might not reach the acceptance level for vibration condition. This will enforce the designer to choose section profiles with higher inertia to enhance stiffness of the whole system. This paper presents an overall assessment for floor vibration problem due to pedestrian induced vertical forces on continuous composite footbridges. The footfall method presented by concrete centre “CCIP-016” is adopted in this study to evaluate the response factor and acceleration of pedestrian bridges using a FEA software package “Robot Structural Analysis”.

  2. The diet-derived short chain fatty acid propionate improves beta-cell function in humans and stimulates insulin secretion from human islets in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingitore, Attilio; Chambers, Edward S; Hill, Thomas; Maldonado, Inmaculada Ruz; Liu, Bo; Bewick, Gavin; Morrison, Douglas J; Preston, Tom; Wallis, Gareth A; Tedford, Catriona; Castañera González, Ramón; Huang, Guo C; Choudhary, Pratik; Frost, Gary; Persaud, Shanta J

    2017-02-01

    Diet-derived short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) improve glucose homeostasis in vivo, but the role of individual SCFAs and their mechanisms of action have not been defined. This study evaluated the effects of increasing colonic delivery of the SCFA propionate on β-cell function in humans and the direct effects of propionate on isolated human islets in vitro. For 24 weeks human subjects ingested an inulin-propionate ester that delivers propionate to the colon. Acute insulin, GLP-1 and non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels were quantified pre- and post-supplementation in response to a mixed meal test. Expression of the SCFA receptor FFAR2 in human islets was determined by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Dynamic insulin secretion from perifused human islets was quantified by radioimmunoassay and islet apoptosis was determined by quantification of caspase 3/7 activities. Colonic propionate delivery in vivo was associated with improved β-cell function with increased insulin secretion that was independent of changes in GLP-1 levels. Human islet β-cells expressed FFAR2 and propionate potentiated dynamic glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vitro, an effect that was dependent on signalling via protein kinase C. Propionate also protected human islets from apoptosis induced by the NEFA sodium palmitate and inflammatory cytokines. Our results indicate that propionate has beneficial effects on β-cell function in vivo, and in vitro analyses demonstrated that it has direct effects to potentiate glucose-stimulated insulin release and maintain β-cell mass through inhibition of apoptosis. These observations support ingestion of propiogenic dietary fibres to maintain healthy glucose homeostasis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. The evaluation of new multi-material human soft tissue simulants for sports impact surrogates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Thomas; Mitchell, Séan; Bibb, Richard; Waters, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Previous sports impact reconstructions have highlighted the inadequacies in current measures to evaluate the effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) and emphasised the need for improved impact surrogates that provide a more biofidelic representation of human impact response. The skin, muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissues were considered to constitute the structures primarily governing the mechanical behaviour of the human body segment. A preceding study by Payne et al. (in press) investigated the formulation and characterisation of muscle tissue simulants. The present study investigates the development of bespoke blends of additive cure polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) silicones to represent both skin and adipose tissues using the same processes previously reported. These simulants were characterised mechanically through a range of strain rates and a range of hyperelastic and viscoelastic constitutive models were evaluated to describe their behaviour. To explore the worth of the silicone simulants, finite element (FE) models were developed using anthropometric parameters representative of the human thigh segment, derived from the Visible Human Project. The multi-material silicone construction was validated experimentally and compared with both organic tissue data from literature and commonly used single material simulants: Dow Corning Silastic 3480 series silicones and ballistics gelatin when subject to a representative sports specific knee impact. Superior biofidelic performance is reported for the PDMS silicone formulations and surrogate predictions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Improved segmentation of ultrasound brain tissue incorporating expert evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vansteenkiste, Ewout; Pizurica, Aleksandra; Philips, Wilfried

    2005-01-01

    The quantitative analysis of medical ultrasound images for the purpose of diagnosis is a difficult task due to the speckle noise present in the images. Nowadays medical doctors depend strongly on the visual interpretation of the images which is subjective to some account. Trying to reduce this noise should assist the experts in a better understanding of some pathologies. We focus on a brain disease called periventricular leukomalacia, also called white matter damage, which occurs frequently on premature neonates. For the moment the affected brain tissue is segmented semi-automatically using two different techniques that take the speckle noise into little account. Here we propose a framework which includes an efficient preprocessing step and relying on expert-based evaluation we develop an integrated segmentation method, which yields a more accurate and better reproducible segmentation.

  5. Developing and evaluating distributions for probabilistic human exposure assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maddalena, Randy L.; McKone, Thomas E.

    2002-08-01

    This report describes research carried out at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to assist the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in developing a consistent yet flexible approach for evaluating the inputs to probabilistic risk assessments. The U.S. EPA Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR) recently released Volume 3 Part A of Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS), as an update to the existing two-volume set of RAGS. The update provides policy and technical guidance on performing probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). Consequently, EPA risk managers and decision-makers need to review and evaluate the adequacy of PRAs for supporting regulatory decisions. A critical part of evaluating a PRA is the problem of evaluating or judging the adequacy of input distributions PRA. Although the overarching theme of this report is the need to improve the ease and consistency of the regulatory review process, the specific objectives are presented in two parts. The objective of Part 1 is to develop a consistent yet flexible process for evaluating distributions in a PRA by identifying the critical attributes of an exposure factor distribution and discussing how these attributes relate to the task-specific adequacy of the input. This objective is carried out with emphasis on the perspective of a risk manager or decision-maker. The proposed evaluation procedure provides consistency to the review process without a loss of flexibility. As a result, the approach described in Part 1 provides an opportunity to apply a single review framework for all EPA regions and yet provide the regional risk manager with the flexibility to deal with site- and case-specific issues in the PRA process. However, as the number of inputs to a PRA increases, so does the complexity of the process for calculating, communicating and managing risk. As a result, there is increasing effort required of both the risk professionals performing the analysis and the risk manager

  6. Evaluation of an anthropometric shape model of the human scalp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacko, Daniël; Huysmans, Toon; Parizel, Paul M; De Bruyne, Guido; Verwulgen, Stijn; Van Hulle, Marc M; Sijbers, Jan

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents the evaluation a 3D shape model of the human head. A statistical shape model of the head is created from a set of 100 MRI scans. The ability of the shape model to predict new head shapes is evaluated by considering the prediction error distributions. The effect of using intuitive anthropometric measurements as parameters is examined and the sensitivity to measurement errors is determined. Using all anthropometric measurements, the average prediction error is 1.60 ± 0.36 mm, which shows the feasibility of the new parameters. The most sensitive measurement is the ear height, the least sensitive is the arc length. Finally, two applications of the anthropometric shape model are considered: the study of the male and female population and the design of a brain-computer interface headset. The results show that an anthropometric shape model can be a valuable tool for both research and design. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  7. Chronobiological methods of human body self-regulation reserve evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey N. Zaguskin

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Aims Chronodiagnostical methods for evaluating reserve and unfavourable responses of human cardiac function and under prolonged stress load. Materials and methods 24-h ECG R–R interval recording of Holter-monitoring ECG recording and 1-h IPI and RespI recordings of healthy young and elderly subjects, post- MI patients, subjects suffered from chronic cerebral ischemia leading to a cognitive decline, healthy subjects following post-stress load, as well as R– R intervals recordings of the AHA ECG database of heart failure and AF. Chronodiagnostics, using non-linear symbolic dynamics method and redundancy quotient of ECG PI, RespI and R– R intervals; differential temperature survey to evaluate cellular immunity; biocontrolled laser therapy. Results Self-regulation reserve reduction of oxygen transfer body systems and increase in unfavourable response probability under stress load are accompanied by the amplitude and fluctuation increase of redundancy quotient in the ECG IPI, RespI and R–R intervals, as well as increase of hierarchical desynchronosis with dominating sympathicotonia and vagotonia, decrease in cellular immunity, reduction in rate spectrum of the ECG IPI and R–R intervals. Conclusion Symbolic dynamics method provides distinction between age-related and abnormal changes in hierarchy of cardiac rhythms. The amplitude and fluctuation increase of redundancy quotient indicates the increase of control intensity with oxygen transfer body systems and predicts the reduction of self-regulation reserve in cardiac rhythms and unfavourable response probability.

  8. Evaluation of solid fuel char briquettes from human waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Barbara J; Yacob, Tesfayohanes W; Montoya, Lupita D

    2014-08-19

    The developing world faces dual crises of escalating energy demand and lack of urban sanitation infrastructure that pose significant burdens on the environment. This article presents results of a study evaluating the feasibility of using human feces-derived char as a solid fuel for heating and cooking and a potential way to address both crises. The study determined the energy content and the elemental composition of chars pyrolyzed at 300, 450, and 750 °C. Fecal chars made at 300 °C were found to be similar in energy content to wood chars and bituminous coal, having a heating value of 25.6 ± 0.08 MJ/kg, while fecal chars made at 750 °C had an energy content of 13.8 ± 0.48 MJ/kg. The higher heating values of the studied chars were evaluated using their elemental composition and a published predictive model; results found good agreement between the measured and predicted values. Fecal chars made at low temperatures were briquetted with molasses/lime and starch binders. Briquettes made with 10% starch had an average impact resistance index of 79 and a higher heating value of 25 MJ/kg. These values are comparable to those of commercial charcoal briquettes, making fecal char briquettes a potential substitute that also contributes to the preservation of the environment.

  9. Evaluating Human Rights Advocacy on Criminal Justice and Sex Work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amon, Joseph; Wurth, Margaret; McLemore, Megan

    2015-06-11

    Between October 2011 and September 2013, we conducted research on the use, by police and/or prosecutors, of condom possession as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related offenses. We studied the practice in five large, geographically diverse cities in the U.S. To facilitate our advocacy on this issue, conducted concurrent to and following our research, we developed an advocacy framework consisting of six dimensions: (1) raising awareness, (2) building and engaging coalitions, (3) framing debate, (4) securing rhetorical commitments, (5) reforming law and policy, and (6) changing practice. Using a case study approach, we describe how this framework also provided a basis for the evaluation of our work, and discuss additional considerations and values related to the measurement and evaluation of human rights advocacy. Copyright 2015 Amon, Wurth, and McLemore. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

  10. ComfortPower - System improvements and long-term evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silversand, Fredrik [Catator AB, Lund (Sweden)

    2011-11-15

    Catator has previously developed a novel heating system abbreviated ComfortPower in a RandD-programme supported by Catator, Swedish Gas Centre (SGC), Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), Skanska, Nibe and Alfa Laval. The ComfortPower unit comprises a multi fuel reformer system tied to a high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEM) and a heat pump system. Since the residual heat from the fuel cell system can be utilized in a very effective way, it is possible to reach high thermal efficiencies. Indeed, the thermal efficiency in the unit has previously been shown to reach values as high as 175 - 200 % based on the lower heating value of the fuel. In addition to heat, ComfortPower can supply comfort cooling and surplus electricity. This project phase has focused on the following elements: 1. System improvements to further enhance the efficiency with existing fuel cell (HT-PEM). 2. System simplifications (e.g. DC-compressor system) to manage issues with start-up currents. 3. Tests with biogas qualities (various levels of CO{sub 2}) and biogas/air. 4. Long-term test with biogas quality (upgraded biogas). 5. Additional tests with liquid fuels (alcohols and diesel). 6. Map the need for cooling and heating in various applications. 7. Investigate how ComfortPower can reduce the primary energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact. 8. Study the possibility with a SOFC-based system with internal reforming. It was found that the Optiformer technology can be used to derive a suitable reformate gas for the HT-PEM unit from a wide range of fuels. Even if operation with fuel gases is the natural choice in most cases, it is possible also to use alcohols and other liquid fuels (e.g. in Campus applications). The heat pump system was equipped with a 24 V DC-compressor provided by Nibe. The compressor could be directly powered by the accumulator system and start-up currents, harmful to the inverter, could be avoided. Some improvements were made on the

  11. Evaluating the Management System Approach for Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Zobel

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Voluntary environmental management systems (EMS based on the international standard ISO 14001 have become widespread globally in recent years. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of voluntary management systems on energy efficiency in the Swedish manufacturing industry by means of objective industrial energy data derived from mandatory annual environmental reports. The study focuses on changes in energy efficiency over a period of 12 years and includes both ISO 14001-certified companies and non-certified companies. Consideration is given to energy improvement efforts in the companies before the adoption of ISO 14001. The analysis has been carried out using statistical methods for two different industrial energy parameters: electricity and fossil fuel consumption. The results indicate that ISO 14001 adoption and certification has increased energy efficiency regarding the use of fossil fuel. In contrast, no effect of the management systems has been found concerning the use of electricity. The mixed results of this study are only partly in line with the results of previous studies based on perceptions of company representatives.

  12. Genetically modified human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells for improving the outcome of human islet transplantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaibhav Mundra

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine the potential of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs as gene carriers for improving the outcome of human islet transplantation. hBMSCs were characterized for the expression of phenotypic markers and transduced with Adv-hVEGF-hIL-1Ra to overexpress human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF and human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (hIL-1Ra. Human islets were co-cultured with hBMSCs overexpressing hVEGF and hIL-1Ra. Islet viability was determined by membrane fluorescent method and glucose stimulation test. Transduced hBMSCs and human islets were co-transplanted under the kidney capsule of NOD.Cg-Prkdc(scid Il2rg(tm1Wjl /SzJ (NSG diabetic mice and blood glucose levels were measured over time to demonstrate the efficacy of genetically modified hBMSCs. At the end of study, immunofluorescent staining of kidney section bearing islets was performed for insulin and von Willebrand Factor (vWF. hBMSCs were positive for the expression of CD73, CD90, CD105, CD146 and Stro-1 surface markers as determined by flow cytometry. Transduction of hBMSCs with adenovirus did not affect their stemness and differentiation potential as confirmed by mRNA levels of stem cell markers and adipogenic differentiation of transduced hBMSCs. hBMSCs were efficiently transduced with Adv-hVEGF-hIL-1Ra to overexpress hVEGF and hIL-1Ra. Live dead cell staining and glucose stimulation test have shown that transduced hBMSCs improved the viability of islets against cytokine cocktail. Co-transplantation of human islets with genetically modified hBMSCs improved the glycemic control of diabetic NSG mice as determined by mean blood glucose levels and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. Immunofluorescent staining of kidney sections was positive for human insulin and vWF. In conclusion, our results have demonstrated that hBMSCs may be used as gene carriers and nursing cells to improve the outcome of islet

  13. Evaluation of Critical Parameters to Improve Slope Drainage System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Weng Long

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on identifying and evaluating critical parameters of various drainage configurations, arrangement, and filter which affect the efficiency of water draining system in slopes. There are a total of seven experiments with different types of homogeneous soil, drainage envelope, filter material, and quantity of pipes performed utilizing a model box with a dimension of 0.8 m × 0.8 m × 0.6 m. The pipes were orientated at 5 degrees from the horizontal. Rainfall event was introduced via a rainfall simulator with rainfall intensity of 434.1 mm/h. From the experiments performed, the expected outcomes when utilizing double pipes and geotextile as envelope filter were verified in this study. The results obtained from these experiments were reviewed and compared with Chapter 14 “Subsurface Drainage Systems” of DID’s Irrigation and Agricultural Drainage Manual of Malaysia and the European standard. It is recommended that the pipe installed in the slope could be wrapped with geotextile and in tandem with application of granular filter to minimize clogging without affecting the water discharge rate. Terzaghi’s filter criteria could be followed closely when deciding on new materials to act as aggregate filter. A caging system could be introduced as it could maintain the integrity of the drainage system and could ease installation.

  14. Standardizing Benchmark Dose Calculations to Improve Science-Based Decisions in Human Health Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wignall, Jessica A.; Shapiro, Andrew J.; Wright, Fred A.; Woodruff, Tracey J.; Chiu, Weihsueh A.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Benchmark dose (BMD) modeling computes the dose associated with a prespecified response level. While offering advantages over traditional points of departure (PODs), such as no-observed-adverse-effect-levels (NOAELs), BMD methods have lacked consistency and transparency in application, interpretation, and reporting in human health assessments of chemicals. Objectives: We aimed to apply a standardized process for conducting BMD modeling to reduce inconsistencies in model fitting and selection. Methods: We evaluated 880 dose–response data sets for 352 environmental chemicals with existing human health assessments. We calculated benchmark doses and their lower limits [10% extra risk, or change in the mean equal to 1 SD (BMD/L10/1SD)] for each chemical in a standardized way with prespecified criteria for model fit acceptance. We identified study design features associated with acceptable model fits. Results: We derived values for 255 (72%) of the chemicals. Batch-calculated BMD/L10/1SD values were significantly and highly correlated (R2 of 0.95 and 0.83, respectively, n = 42) with PODs previously used in human health assessments, with values similar to reported NOAELs. Specifically, the median ratio of BMDs10/1SD:NOAELs was 1.96, and the median ratio of BMDLs10/1SD:NOAELs was 0.89. We also observed a significant trend of increasing model viability with increasing number of dose groups. Conclusions: BMD/L10/1SD values can be calculated in a standardized way for use in health assessments on a large number of chemicals and critical effects. This facilitates the exploration of health effects across multiple studies of a given chemical or, when chemicals need to be compared, providing greater transparency and efficiency than current approaches. Citation: Wignall JA, Shapiro AJ, Wright FA, Woodruff TJ, Chiu WA, Guyton KZ, Rusyn I. 2014. Standardizing benchmark dose calculations to improve science-based decisions in human health assessments. Environ Health

  15. On-Orbit Evaluation of a New Treadmill Harness for Improved Crewmember Comfort and Load Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perusek, G. P.; Sheehan, C. C.; Savina, M. C.; Owings, T. M.; Davis, B. L.; Ryder, J. W.

    2011-01-01

    The current design of the International Space Station (ISS) Treadmill Harness has been reported to cause pain and discomfort to crewmembers during exercise. The Harness Station Development Test Objective (SDTO) provided participating crewmembers (n = 6) with a new harness design, the "Glenn Harness," to evaluate for comfort and loading as compared to the current Treadmill Harness. A novel suite of load-sensing instrumentation was developed to noninvasively measure load distribution and provided a first-ever quantification of actual dynamic loads during treadmill exercise. In addition, crew debriefs provided feedback on harness preference and overall impressions. Conclusions: Post-flight analysis in returned Glenn Harnesses (n = 3) showed minimal wear and tear. Four of the six subjects found the Glenn Harness to be more comfortable in this on-orbit, side-by-side comparison as measured by the crew comfort questionnaire and crew debriefs. Specific areas for improvement have been identified, and forward recommendations will be provided to the Human Research Program. The protocol developed for the SDTO provided valuable insight into crew comfort issues, design improvements, and loading preferences for exercise harnessing, which lays the groundwork for better harnessing systems and training protocols.

  16. An improved microtiter assay for evaluating anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies from sera or plasma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Yunyun

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibody assay is widely used in AIDS vaccine research and other experimental and clinical studies. The vital dye staining method applied in the detection of anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibody has been used in many laboratories. However, the unknown factor(s in sera or plasma affected cell growth and caused protection when the tested sera or plasma was continuously maintained in cell culture. In addition, the poor solubility of neutral red in medium (such as RPMI-1640 also limited the use of this assay. Methods In this study, human T cell line C8166 was used as host cells, and 3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT instead of neutral red was used as vital dye. In order to avoid the effect of the unknown factor(s, the tested sera or plasma was removed by a washout procedure after initial 3–6 h culture in the assay. Result This new assay eliminated the effect of the tested sera or plasma on cell growth, improved the reliability of detection of anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibody, and showed excellent agreement with the p24 antigen method. Conclusion The results suggest that the improved assay is relatively simple, highly duplicable, cost-effective, and well reliable for evaluating anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies from sera or plasma.

  17. An expanded evaluation of protein function prediction methods shows an improvement in accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuxiang; Oron, Tal Ronnen; Clark, Wyatt T; Bankapur, Asma R; D'Andrea, Daniel; Lepore, Rosalba; Funk, Christopher S; Kahanda, Indika; Verspoor, Karin M; Ben-Hur, Asa; Koo, Da Chen Emily; Penfold-Brown, Duncan; Shasha, Dennis; Youngs, Noah; Bonneau, Richard; Lin, Alexandra; Sahraeian, Sayed M E; Martelli, Pier Luigi; Profiti, Giuseppe; Casadio, Rita; Cao, Renzhi; Zhong, Zhaolong; Cheng, Jianlin; Altenhoff, Adrian; Skunca, Nives; Dessimoz, Christophe; Dogan, Tunca; Hakala, Kai; Kaewphan, Suwisa; Mehryary, Farrokh; Salakoski, Tapio; Ginter, Filip; Fang, Hai; Smithers, Ben; Oates, Matt; Gough, Julian; Törönen, Petri; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Chen, Ching-Tai; Hsu, Wen-Lian; Bryson, Kevin; Cozzetto, Domenico; Minneci, Federico; Jones, David T; Chapman, Samuel; Bkc, Dukka; Khan, Ishita K; Kihara, Daisuke; Ofer, Dan; Rappoport, Nadav; Stern, Amos; Cibrian-Uhalte, Elena; Denny, Paul; Foulger, Rebecca E; Hieta, Reija; Legge, Duncan; Lovering, Ruth C; Magrane, Michele; Melidoni, Anna N; Mutowo-Meullenet, Prudence; Pichler, Klemens; Shypitsyna, Aleksandra; Li, Biao; Zakeri, Pooya; ElShal, Sarah; Tranchevent, Léon-Charles; Das, Sayoni; Dawson, Natalie L; Lee, David; Lees, Jonathan G; Sillitoe, Ian; Bhat, Prajwal; Nepusz, Tamás; Romero, Alfonso E; Sasidharan, Rajkumar; Yang, Haixuan; Paccanaro, Alberto; Gillis, Jesse; Sedeño-Cortés, Adriana E; Pavlidis, Paul; Feng, Shou; Cejuela, Juan M; Goldberg, Tatyana; Hamp, Tobias; Richter, Lothar; Salamov, Asaf; Gabaldon, Toni; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Supek, Fran; Gong, Qingtian; Ning, Wei; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Toppo, Stefano; Ferrari, Carlo; Giollo, Manuel; Piovesan, Damiano; Tosatto, Silvio C E; Del Pozo, Angela; Fernández, José M; Maietta, Paolo; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L; Benso, Alfredo; Di Carlo, Stefano; Politano, Gianfranco; Savino, Alessandro; Rehman, Hafeez Ur; Re, Matteo; Mesiti, Marco; Valentini, Giorgio; Bargsten, Joachim W; van Dijk, Aalt D J; Gemovic, Branislava; Glisic, Sanja; Perovic, Vladmir; Veljkovic, Veljko; Veljkovic, Nevena; Almeida-E-Silva, Danillo C; Vencio, Ricardo Z N; Sharan, Malvika; Vogel, Jörg; Kansakar, Lakesh; Zhang, Shanshan; Vucetic, Slobodan; Wang, Zheng; Sternberg, Michael J E; Wass, Mark N; Huntley, Rachael P; Martin, Maria J; O'Donovan, Claire; Robinson, Peter N; Moreau, Yves; Tramontano, Anna; Babbitt, Patricia C; Brenner, Steven E; Linial, Michal; Orengo, Christine A; Rost, Burkhard; Greene, Casey S; Mooney, Sean D; Friedberg, Iddo; Radivojac, Predrag

    2016-09-07

    A major bottleneck in our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life is the assignment of function to proteins. While molecular experiments provide the most reliable annotation of proteins, their relatively low throughput and restricted purview have led to an increasing role for computational function prediction. However, assessing methods for protein function prediction and tracking progress in the field remain challenging. We conducted the second critical assessment of functional annotation (CAFA), a timed challenge to assess computational methods that automatically assign protein function. We evaluated 126 methods from 56 research groups for their ability to predict biological functions using Gene Ontology and gene-disease associations using Human Phenotype Ontology on a set of 3681 proteins from 18 species. CAFA2 featured expanded analysis compared with CAFA1, with regards to data set size, variety, and assessment metrics. To review progress in the field, the analysis compared the best methods from CAFA1 to those of CAFA2. The top-performing methods in CAFA2 outperformed those from CAFA1. This increased accuracy can be attributed to a combination of the growing number of experimental annotations and improved methods for function prediction. The assessment also revealed that the definition of top-performing algorithms is ontology specific, that different performance metrics can be used to probe the nature of accurate predictions, and the relative diversity of predictions in the biological process and human phenotype ontologies. While there was methodological improvement between CAFA1 and CAFA2, the interpretation of results and usefulness of individual methods remain context-dependent.

  18. Improved sea-urchin embryo bioassay for in situ evaluation of dredged material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamanca, M J; Fernández, N; Cesar, A; Antón, R; Lopez, P; Delvalls, A

    2009-11-01

    Sediments usually contain many contaminants derived from human activities. In case of dredging activities, these sediment-bound contaminants arise following the excavation and remobilization of sediments. Previous studies have used different species of clam, crabs, lugworms, etc. for the evaluation of dredged material in situ, but there are not studies that use acute bioassays for these purposes. The sea-urchin embryo bioassay has been chosen to characterize biological effects in situ in two ports of the southwest of Spain, the Port of Huelva and the Port of Cadiz. The sea-urchin embryo bioassay has been adapted for in situ evaluation of seawater quality in coastal areas, however, they are necessary for further improvements to take into account differences of temperature between sites. This temperature variation is one of the principal reasons (other than pollution) of larval mortality and the slow down in the growth rate of the urchin. In the present study a bioassay was conducted in both field and laboratory conditions, in order to compare the effects in situ with the effects under controlled conditions of temperature, salinity and oxygen dissolved. Results showed a good correlation between samples obtained in situ and in the laboratory, but in the field the percentage of normal pluteus larvae is less than under laboratory conditions.

  19. Evaluating uncertainty to strengthen epidemiologic data for use in human health risk assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Carol J; Wright, J Michael; Pierson, Jennifer B; Bateson, Thomas F; Burstyn, Igor; Goldstein, Daniel A; Klaunig, James E; Luben, Thomas J; Mihlan, Gary; Ritter, Leonard; Schnatter, A Robert; Symons, J Morel; Yi, Kun Don

    2014-11-01

    There is a recognized need to improve the application of epidemiologic data in human health risk assessment especially for understanding and characterizing risks from environmental and occupational exposures. Although there is uncertainty associated with the results of most epidemiologic studies, techniques exist to characterize uncertainty that can be applied to improve weight-of-evidence evaluations and risk characterization efforts. This report derives from a Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) workshop held in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss the utility of using epidemiologic data in risk assessments, including the use of advanced analytic methods to address sources of uncertainty. Epidemiologists, toxicologists, and risk assessors from academia, government, and industry convened to discuss uncertainty, exposure assessment, and application of analytic methods to address these challenges. Several recommendations emerged to help improve the utility of epidemiologic data in risk assessment. For example, improved characterization of uncertainty is needed to allow risk assessors to quantitatively assess potential sources of bias. Data are needed to facilitate this quantitative analysis, and interdisciplinary approaches will help ensure that sufficient information is collected for a thorough uncertainty evaluation. Advanced analytic methods and tools such as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and Bayesian statistical techniques can provide important insights and support interpretation of epidemiologic data. The discussions and recommendations from this workshop demonstrate that there are practical steps that the scientific community can adopt to strengthen epidemiologic data for decision making.

  20. Analysis of Academic Administrators' Attitudes: Annual Evaluations and Factors That Improve Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, Brian D.; Grasse, Nathan; Kapla, Dale; Hamel, Brad

    2017-01-01

    This article examines academic administrators' attitudes towards the academic evaluation process in the US and those factors that are utilised to improve teaching. We use path regressions to examine satisfaction with evaluation procedures, as well as the direct and indirect effects of these factors on perceptions of whether the evaluation process…

  1. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A improves hepatic differentiation of immortalized adult human hepatocytes and improves liver function and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hang, Hua-Lian; Liu, Xin-Yu; Wang, Hai-Tian; Xu, Ning; Bian, Jian-Min; Zhang, Jian-Jun; Xia, Lei; Xia, Qiang

    2017-11-15

    Immortalized human hepatocytes (IHH) could provide an unlimited supply of hepatocytes, but insufficient differentiation and phenotypic instability restrict their clinical application. This study aimed to determine the role of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A (HNF4A) in hepatic differentiation of IHH, and whether encapsulation of IHH overexpressing HNF4A could improve liver function and survival in rats with acute liver failure (ALF). Primary human hepatocytes were transduced with lentivirus-mediated catalytic subunit of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) to establish IHH. Cells were analyzed for telomerase activity, proliferative capacity, hepatocyte markers, and tumorigenicity (c-myc) expression. Hepatocyte markers, hepatocellular functions, and morphology were studied in the HNF4A-overexpressing IHH. Hepatocyte markers and karyotype analysis were completed in the primary hepatocytes using shRNA knockdown of HNF4A. Nuclear translocation of β-catenin was assessed. Rat models of ALF were treated with encapsulated IHH or HNF4A-overexpressing IHH. A HNF4A-positive IHH line was established, which was non-tumorigenic and conserved properties of primary hepatocytes. HNF4A overexpression significantly enhanced mRNA levels of genes related to hepatic differentiation in IHH. Urea levels were increased by the overexpression of HNF4A, as measured 24h after ammonium chloride addition, similar to that of primary hepatocytes. Chromosomal abnormalities were observed in primary hepatocytes transfected with HNF4A shRNA. HNF4α overexpression could significantly promote β-catenin activation. Transplantation of HNF4A overexpressing IHH resulted in better liver function and survival of rats with ALF compared with IHH. HNF4A improved hepatic differentiation of IHH. Transplantation of HNF4A-overexpressing IHH could improve the liver function and survival in a rat model of ALF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Human factors considerations in the design and evaluation of flight deck displays and controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this effort is to have a single source document for human factors regulatory and guidance material for flight deck displays and controls, in the interest of improving aviation safety. This document identifies guidance on human factor...

  3. Assessing the potential and limitations of leveraging food sovereignty to improve human health

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Andrew D.; Lilly Fink Shapiro; Wilson, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Food sovereignty has been defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” Human health is an implied component of this definition through the principle of healthy food. In fact, improved human health is commonly cited as a benefit of transforming food production away from the dominant practices of industrial agriculture. Yet, does the use ...

  4. Analysis of Improvement on Human Resource Management within Chinese Enterprises in Economic Globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Lihui Xie; Dasong Deng; Xifa Liu

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we analysis of improvement on human resource management within Chinese enterprises in economic globalization. China’s entry into WTO has accelerated the economic globalization pace of Chinese enterprises and Chinese economy is further integrated with the global economy in a global scope. Human resource is what economic globalization of Chinese enterprises relies on, the first resource for China to participate in the international competition and is also the key to make effectiv...

  5. A Single Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Dose Improves B Cell Memory in Previously Infected Subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M. Scherer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Although licensed human papillomavirus (HPV vaccines are most efficacious in persons never infected with HPV, they also reduce infection and disease in previously infected subjects, indicating natural immunity is not entirely protective against HPV re-infection. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the B cell memory elicited by HPV infection and evaluate whether vaccination merely boosts antibody (Ab levels in previously infected subjects or also improves the quality of B cell memory. Toward this end, the memory B cells (Bmem of five unvaccinated, HPV-seropositive subjects were isolated and characterized, and subject recall responses to a single HPV vaccine dose were analyzed. Vaccination boosted Ab levels 24- to 930-fold (median 77-fold and Bmem numbers 3- to 27-fold (median 6-fold. In addition, Abs cloned from naturally elicited Bmem were generally non-neutralizing, whereas all those isolated following vaccination were neutralizing. Moreover, Ab and plasmablast responses indicative of memory recall responses were only observed in two subjects. These results suggest HPV vaccination augments both the magnitude and quality of natural immunity and demonstrate that sexually active persons could also benefit from HPV vaccination. This study may have important public policy implications, especially for the older ‘catch-up’ group within the vaccine's target population.

  6. Sodium hypochlorite solution penetration into human dentine: a histochemical evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giardino, L; Cavani, F; Generali, L

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate ex vivo the penetration depth of sodium hypochlorite solutions, with and without surfactants, into human dentine using a histochemical stain and the bleaching ability of NaOCl. Extracted maxillary central incisors were decoronated and their root canals were shaped to a size 30, .07 taper. Dentinal tubules were stained with 10% copper sulphate solution followed by a 1% rubeanic acid alcohol solution under vacuum. Specimens were irrigated with 5 mL of Niclor 5 (5.25% NaOCl solution) or 5 mL of Hypoclean (5.25% NaOCl solution + surfactants) according to the corresponding treatment group, for 2 min. A transverse section was obtained in the middle portion of the apical, middle and coronal thirds of each tooth. Under microscopic examination, irrigant penetration was evaluated by measuring the following: the bleached circumference of the root canal with respect to the stained circumference; bleached areas, mean and maximum penetration depth. For statistical analysis, Pearson's chi-squared test and one-way anova were used. Only 30% of dentine tubules in the apical portions were stained; therefore, these were excluded from further comparisons. In the middle and coronal thirds, the average bleached circumference of the root canal was 80-99% of the stained circumference and the bleached area was 73757-135107 μm(2) . The average penetration depth ranged from 39 to 62 μm and maximum penetration from 74 to 131 μm. For all reported results, no differences within and between groups were observed (P = 1). No differences in penetration of irrigants with and without surfactants into dentinal tubules were observed in the middle and coronal thirds of incisor teeth. © 2016 International Endodontic Journal. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. HUMAN RESOURCES EMPOWERMENT, WORKING MOTIVATION AND ORGANIZATION CHANGE IN IMPROVING HOTEL BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN BALI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusti Kade Sutawa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to test and analyze impact of human resource development on working motivation of hotel business workers in Bali, impact of human resource development on organizational changes of hotel business in Bali, impact of human resource development on the performance of hotel business in Bali, impact of working motivation against organizational changes in hotel business in Bali, impact of working motivation on the organizations performance of the hotel business in Bali, and impact of organizational changes against organizations performance of the hotel business in Bali. There were 170 respondents of star-rated hotel employees which were selected through purposive sampling technique. Structural Equation Modeling with the application Analysis of Moment Structure was used to analyze the data. The results show that empowerment of human resources (HR has positive and significant impact on working motivation, organizational changes, and the organization performance of hotel business in Bali, working motivation has positive and significant impact on organizational changes and the organization performance of hotel business in Bali and organizational changes have significant and positive impact on the organization performance of hotel business in Bali. Empowerment variables have the most powerful impact to support the improvement of organizational performance, followed by organizational changes and working motivation variables. The results indicate that human resource empowerment improves the performance of the hotel business in Bali. Therefore, human resource development need to be prioritized in order to improve organizational performance of star hotels in Bali.

  8. Engineered botulinum neurotoxin B with improved efficacy for targeting human receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Liang; Peng, Lisheng; Berntsson, Ronnie P-A; Liu, Sai Man; Park, SunHyun; Yu, Feifan; Boone, Christopher; Palan, Shilpa; Beard, Matthew; Chabrier, Pierre-Etienne; Stenmark, Pål; Krupp, Johannes; Dong, Min

    2017-07-03

    Botulinum neurotoxin B is a Food and Drug Administration-approved therapeutic toxin. However, it has lower binding affinity toward the human version of its major receptor, synaptotagmin II (h-Syt II), compared to mouse Syt II, because of a residue difference. Increasing the binding affinity to h-Syt II may improve botulinum neurotoxin B's therapeutic efficacy and reduce adverse effects. Here we utilized the bacterial adenylate cyclase two-hybrid method and carried out a saturation mutagenesis screen in the Syt II-binding pocket of botulinum neurotoxin B. The screen identifies E1191 as a key residue: replacing it with M/C/V/Q enhances botulinum neurotoxin B binding to human synaptotagmin II. Adding S1199Y/W or W1178Q as a secondary mutation further increases binding affinity. Mutant botulinum neurotoxin B containing E1191M/S1199Y exhibits ~11-fold higher efficacy in blocking neurotransmission than wild-type botulinum neurotoxin B in neurons expressing human synaptotagmin II, demonstrating that enhancing receptor binding increases the overall efficacy at functional levels. The engineered botulinum neurotoxin B provides a platform to develop therapeutic toxins with improved efficacy.Humans are less sensitive to the therapeutic effects of botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) than the animal models it is tested on due to differences between the human and the mouse receptors. Here, the authors engineer BoNT/B to improve its affinity to human receptors and enhance its therapeutic efficacy.

  9. Access to justice: evaluating law, health and human rights programmes in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruskin, Sofia; Safreed-Harmon, Kelly; Ezer, Tamar; Gathumbi, Anne; Cohen, Jonathan; Kameri-Mbote, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Introduction In Kenya, human rights violations have a marked impact on the health of people living with HIV. Integrating legal literacy and legal services into healthcare appears to be an effective strategy to empower vulnerable groups and address underlying determinants of health. Methods We carried out an evaluation to collect evidence about the impact of legal empowerment programmes on health and human rights. The evaluation focused on Open Society Foundation-supported legal integration activities at four sites: the Academic Model of Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) facility, where the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE) operates, in Eldoret; Kenyatta National Hospital's Gender-based Violence Recovery Centre, which hosts the COVAW legal integration program; and Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) facilities in Mombasa and Naivasha. In consultation with the organizations implementing the programs, we designed a conceptual logic model grounded in human rights principles, identified relevant indicators and then coded structure, process and outcome indicators for the rights-related principles they reflect. The evaluation included a resource assessment questionnaire, a review of program records and routine data, and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with clients and service providers. Data were collected in May–August 2010 and April–June 2011. Results Clients showed a notable increase in practical knowledge and awareness about how to access legal aid and claim their rights, as well as an enhanced ability to communicate with healthcare providers and to improve their access to healthcare and justice. In turn, providers became more adept at identifying human rights violations and other legal difficulties, which enabled them to give clients basic information about their rights, refer them to legal aid and assist them in accessing needed support. Methodological challenges in evaluating such activities point to the need to strengthen

  10. Access to justice: evaluating law, health and human rights programmes in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruskin, Sofia; Safreed-Harmon, Kelly; Ezer, Tamar; Gathumbi, Anne; Cohen, Jonathan; Kameri-Mbote, Patricia

    2013-11-13

    In Kenya, human rights violations have a marked impact on the health of people living with HIV. Integrating legal literacy and legal services into healthcare appears to be an effective strategy to empower vulnerable groups and address underlying determinants of health. We carried out an evaluation to collect evidence about the impact of legal empowerment programmes on health and human rights. The evaluation focused on Open Society Foundation-supported legal integration activities at four sites: the Academic Model of Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) facility, where the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE) operates, in Eldoret; Kenyatta National Hospital's Gender-based Violence Recovery Centre, which hosts the COVAW legal integration program; and Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) facilities in Mombasa and Naivasha. In consultation with the organizations implementing the programs, we designed a conceptual logic model grounded in human rights principles, identified relevant indicators and then coded structure, process and outcome indicators for the rights-related principles they reflect. The evaluation included a resource assessment questionnaire, a review of program records and routine data, and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with clients and service providers. Data were collected in May-August 2010 and April-June 2011. Clients showed a notable increase in practical knowledge and awareness about how to access legal aid and claim their rights, as well as an enhanced ability to communicate with healthcare providers and to improve their access to healthcare and justice. In turn, providers became more adept at identifying human rights violations and other legal difficulties, which enabled them to give clients basic information about their rights, refer them to legal aid and assist them in accessing needed support. Methodological challenges in evaluating such activities point to the need to strengthen rights-oriented evaluation

  11. Access to justice: evaluating law, health and human rights programmes in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Gruskin

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In Kenya, human rights violations have a marked impact on the health of people living with HIV. Integrating legal literacy and legal services into healthcare appears to be an effective strategy to empower vulnerable groups and address underlying determinants of health. Methods: We carried out an evaluation to collect evidence about the impact of legal empowerment programmes on health and human rights. The evaluation focused on Open Society Foundation-supported legal integration activities at four sites: the Academic Model of Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH facility, where the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE operates, in Eldoret; Kenyatta National Hospital's Gender-based Violence Recovery Centre, which hosts the COVAW legal integration program; and Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK facilities in Mombasa and Naivasha. In consultation with the organizations implementing the programs, we designed a conceptual logic model grounded in human rights principles, identified relevant indicators and then coded structure, process and outcome indicators for the rights-related principles they reflect. The evaluation included a resource assessment questionnaire, a review of program records and routine data, and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with clients and service providers. Data were collected in May–August 2010 and April–June 2011. Results: Clients showed a notable increase in practical knowledge and awareness about how to access legal aid and claim their rights, as well as an enhanced ability to communicate with healthcare providers and to improve their access to healthcare and justice. In turn, providers became more adept at identifying human rights violations and other legal difficulties, which enabled them to give clients basic information about their rights, refer them to legal aid and assist them in accessing needed support. Methodological challenges in evaluating such activities point to

  12. Thinspiration: Self-Improvement Versus Self-Evaluation Social Comparisons with Thin-Ideal Media Portrayals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knobloch-Westerwick, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Much research has demonstrated negative impacts of idealized-body imagery exposure on body satisfaction. Yet, paradoxically, media with such imagery attract mass audiences. Few studies showed women's body satisfaction increased due to thin-ideal exposure. The kind of social comparison women engage in (self-evaluation vs. self-improvement) may explain these inconsistent findings and the paradoxical attraction to thin-ideal messages. Across 5 days, thin-ideal messages were presented to 51 women; self-evaluation and self-improvement social comparisons as well as body satisfaction were measured each day. A linear positive change in body satisfaction emerged. Greater self-improvement social comparisons increased this change, whereas greater self-evaluation social comparisons reduced it. Extent of both social comparison types changed during the prolonged exposure. A greater tendency to compare one's body with others' improved body satisfaction through self-improvement social comparisons and fostered weight-loss behaviors through self-evaluation social comparisons.

  13. Human mesenchymal stem cells improve the neurodegeneration of femoral nerve in a diabetic foot ulceration rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Nan; Xu, Jin-Mei; Zhao, Nan; Zhao, Qing-Song; Li, Ming; Cheng, Zhi-Feng

    2015-06-15

    Neuropathy is observed in 50% of diabetic patients with diabetic foot. This study attempted to explore the potential role of human mesenchymal stem cells-umbilical cord blood (hMSCs-UC) in femoral nerve (FN) neuropathy. The model rats were established by one time administration of streptozotocin and empyrosis on the dorsal hind foot. At 3d, 7d, 14d after treatment with hMSCs-UC or saline through left femoral artery, the serum NGF was examined by ELISA; NF-200 expression in FN was evaluated by immunohistochemistry; the diameter and roundness of FN, the ratio of capillary and muscular fiber of gastrocnemius were calculated under light microscope; and neuronal degenerations, such as demyelization, axonal atrophy, and loose arrangement of nerve fibers, were observed by electronic microscope. The results showed that, in hMSCs-UC-treated model rats, serum NGF was increased with higher positive rate of NF-200. Although the difference in FN diameters was not established among groups, improvement of roundness of FN was confirmed with increase in the numbers of capillary in FN-innervated gastrocnemius; additionally, degenerative neuropathy was significantly improved. Importantly, the functional study of electroneurogram (ENG) showed that, slowed conduction of FN in model rats was significantly restored by hMSCs-CU treatment. These data suggested that hMSCs-UC-treatment partially reverse the neuronal degeneration and nerve function of FN, which might be contributed by the upregulation of NGF with dramatic angiogenesis in FN-innervated gastrocnemius, consequently reversing neuronal structure and function, preventing or curing foot ulceration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Recommendations and Improvements for the Evaluation of Integrated Community-Wide Interventions Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessa M. van Koperen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Integrated community-wide intervention approaches (ICIAs are implemented to prevent childhood obesity. Programme evaluation improves these ICIAs, but professionals involved often struggle with performance. Evaluation tools have been developed to support Dutch professionals involved in ICIAs. It is unclear how useful these tools are to intended users. We therefore researched the facilitators of and barriers to ICIA programme evaluation as perceived by professionals and their experiences of the evaluation tools. Methods. Focus groups and interviews with 33 public health professionals. Data were analysed using a thematic content approach. Findings. Evaluation is hampered by insufficient time, budget, and experience with ICIAs, lack of leadership, and limited advocacy for evaluation. Epidemiologists are regarded as responsible for evaluation but feel incompetent to perform evaluation or advocate its need in a political environment. Managers did not prioritise process evaluations, involvement of stakeholders, and capacity building. The evaluation tools are perceived as valuable but too comprehensive considering limited resources. Conclusion. Evaluating ICIAs is important but most professionals are unfamiliar with it and management does not prioritise process evaluation nor incentivize professionals to evaluate. To optimise programme evaluation, more resources and coaching are required to improve professionals’ evaluation capabilities and specifically the use of evaluation.

  15. A human factors evaluation of advanced control facilities in Korea Next Generation Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byun, Seong Nam; Lee, Dong Hoon; Chung, Sung Hak; Kim, Dong Nam; Hwang, Sang Ho [Kyunghee Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2001-07-15

    The objectives of this study are as follows: to evaluate the impacts of advanced MMIs on operator performance; to identify new types of human errors; to present Human Factors Engineering (HFE) issues to support the safety reviews performed by the Korea Institute for Nuclear Safety. General trends in the performance measures of cognitive task demand, mental workload, and situation awareness were analyzed. The results showed that the conventional plant was superior to KNGR on the operator performance. The results of the questionnaire revealed that WDS was the most frequently used MMI resource, followed by CPS, LDP, SC, and AS. The evaluation of operator's satisfaction showed that WDS was the most satisfactory resource, followed by LDP, SC, CPS', and AS, AS was rated as the most worst resource due to inappropriate functional organization and lack of operator's visibility. Stepwise regression analyses showed that human errors of SRO and RO were mainly dominated by the cognitive behavior of 'interpretation' with WDS, while the cognitive behavior of TO was mainly dominated by 'observation' with WDS and AS. The ten HFE issues for the KNGR MCR were presented to address important design deficiencies identified in this study. The issues should be resolved to improve safety of KNGR at least up to the level of the conventional NPPs. Verification and validation activities after implementing those resolutions should be also performed to reach optimal plant safety and other operational goals.

  16. A human factors evaluation of the operational demonstration flight inspection aircraft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-05-01

    These reports describe the data collection and analysis efforts performed by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute's Human Factors Research Laboratory to assist the Office of Aviation System Standards (AVN) in the human factors evaluation of the Oper...

  17. Mathematical Modeling and Evaluation of Human Motions in Physical Therapy Using Mixture Density Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakanski, A; Ferguson, JM; Lee, S

    2016-01-01

    Objective The objective of the proposed research is to develop a methodology for modeling and evaluation of human motions, which will potentially benefit patients undertaking a physical rehabilitation therapy (e.g., following a stroke or due to other medical conditions). The ultimate aim is to allow patients to perform home-based rehabilitation exercises using a sensory system for capturing the motions, where an algorithm will retrieve the trajectories of a patient’s exercises, will perform data analysis by comparing the performed motions to a reference model of prescribed motions, and will send the analysis results to the patient’s physician with recommendations for improvement. Methods The modeling approach employs an artificial neural network, consisting of layers of recurrent neuron units and layers of neuron units for estimating a mixture density function over the spatio-temporal dependencies within the human motion sequences. Input data are sequences of motions related to a prescribed exercise by a physiotherapist to a patient, and recorded with a motion capture system. An autoencoder subnet is employed for reducing the dimensionality of captured sequences of human motions, complemented with a mixture density subnet for probabilistic modeling of the motion data using a mixture of Gaussian distributions. Results The proposed neural network architecture produced a model for sets of human motions represented with a mixture of Gaussian density functions. The mean log-likelihood of observed sequences was employed as a performance metric in evaluating the consistency of a subject’s performance relative to the reference dataset of motions. A publically available dataset of human motions captured with Microsoft Kinect was used for validation of the proposed method. Conclusion The article presents a novel approach for modeling and evaluation of human motions with a potential application in home-based physical therapy and rehabilitation. The described approach

  18. Mathematical Modeling and Evaluation of Human Motions in Physical Therapy Using Mixture Density Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakanski, A; Ferguson, J M; Lee, S

    2016-12-01

    The objective of the proposed research is to develop a methodology for modeling and evaluation of human motions, which will potentially benefit patients undertaking a physical rehabilitation therapy (e.g., following a stroke or due to other medical conditions). The ultimate aim is to allow patients to perform home-based rehabilitation exercises using a sensory system for capturing the motions, where an algorithm will retrieve the trajectories of a patient's exercises, will perform data analysis by comparing the performed motions to a reference model of prescribed motions, and will send the analysis results to the patient's physician with recommendations for improvement. The modeling approach employs an artificial neural network, consisting of layers of recurrent neuron units and layers of neuron units for estimating a mixture density function over the spatio-temporal dependencies within the human motion sequences. Input data are sequences of motions related to a prescribed exercise by a physiotherapist to a patient, and recorded with a motion capture system. An autoencoder subnet is employed for reducing the dimensionality of captured sequences of human motions, complemented with a mixture density subnet for probabilistic modeling of the motion data using a mixture of Gaussian distributions. The proposed neural network architecture produced a model for sets of human motions represented with a mixture of Gaussian density functions. The mean log-likelihood of observed sequences was employed as a performance metric in evaluating the consistency of a subject's performance relative to the reference dataset of motions. A publically available dataset of human motions captured with Microsoft Kinect was used for validation of the proposed method. The article presents a novel approach for modeling and evaluation of human motions with a potential application in home-based physical therapy and rehabilitation. The described approach employs the recent progress in the field of

  19. Tactile Evaluation Feedback System for Multi-Layered Structure Inspired by Human Tactile Perception Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad Hashim, Iza Husna; Kumamoto, Shogo; Takemura, Kenjiro; Maeno, Takashi; Okuda, Shin; Mori, Yukio

    2017-01-01

    Tactile sensation is one type of valuable feedback in evaluating a product. Conventionally, sensory evaluation is used to get direct subjective responses from the consumers, in order to improve the product’s quality. However, this method is a time-consuming and costly process. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel tactile evaluation system that can give tactile feedback from a sensor’s output. The main concept of this system is hierarchically layering the tactile sensation, which is inspired by the flow of human perception. The tactile sensation is classified from low-order of tactile sensation (LTS) to high-order of tactile sensation (HTS), and also to preference. Here, LTS will be correlated with physical measures. Furthermore, the physical measures that are used to correlate with LTS are selected based on four main aspects of haptic information (roughness, compliance, coldness, and slipperiness), which are perceived through human tactile sensors. By using statistical analysis, the correlation between each hierarchy was obtained, and the preference was derived in terms of physical measures. A verification test was conducted by using unknown samples to determine the reliability of the system. The results showed that the system developed was capable of estimating preference with an accuracy of approximately 80%. PMID:29137128

  20. Tactile Evaluation Feedback System for Multi-Layered Structure Inspired by Human Tactile Perception Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iza Husna Mohamad Hashim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Tactile sensation is one type of valuable feedback in evaluating a product. Conventionally, sensory evaluation is used to get direct subjective responses from the consumers, in order to improve the product’s quality. However, this method is a time-consuming and costly process. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel tactile evaluation system that can give tactile feedback from a sensor’s output. The main concept of this system is hierarchically layering the tactile sensation, which is inspired by the flow of human perception. The tactile sensation is classified from low-order of tactile sensation (LTS to high-order of tactile sensation (HTS, and also to preference. Here, LTS will be correlated with physical measures. Furthermore, the physical measures that are used to correlate with LTS are selected based on four main aspects of haptic information (roughness, compliance, coldness, and slipperiness, which are perceived through human tactile sensors. By using statistical analysis, the correlation between each hierarchy was obtained, and the preference was derived in terms of physical measures. A verification test was conducted by using unknown samples to determine the reliability of the system. The results showed that the system developed was capable of estimating preference with an accuracy of approximately 80%.

  1. Human ECG indicators for fast screening and evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Marcin; DzierŻak, RóŻa; Surtel, Wojciech; Saran, Tomasz

    2016-09-01

    Telemedical system design and implementation requires numerous steps. It is necessary to evaluate the operation of algorithms responsible for analysis and detection of life-threatening situations. By performing ECG analysis it is possible to obtain information about the overall patient health condition as well as detailed information about the circulatory system condition. To achieve that goal one must gather, filter and process data. Data was gathered using a purposely built device from a group of four volunteers. Available data set was processed to obtain information about the patients condition. Pan-Tompkins algorithm was used to detect R peaks and calculate heart rhythm. Afterward the rest of parameters were extracted in time domain using windowed peak detection and polynomial estimation. The parameters were calculated as delays between appropriate points in the signal. The method proved to be able to extract parameters in some of the cases, and proved limited effectiveness in situations where physical activity was significant. It was nevertheless possible to eliminate noise from the mains, the trend and higher frequency noise Further improvements need to be introduced to increase the method's robustness in the presence of significant muscle noise.

  2. Improved performance of aging human mesenchymal stromal cells for bone tissue engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alves, H.A.D.C.R.

    2011-01-01

    In the last decades, an improvement in general life conditions has led to an increace in human life span but, concomitantly, also led to an increasing incidence of bone related disorders. A substancial effort has been placed in the development of new techologies to overcome current limitations of

  3. Ethics in action: Approving and improving medical research with human subjects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis, Jean Philippe de Jong presents a new understanding of ethical oversight on medical research with human subjects and proposes that two philosophies for ethical oversight exist: '(dis)approving' and 'improving'. Systems for ethical oversight on medical research have been in place for

  4. Oxygenated fixation demonstrates novel and improved ultrastructural features of the human endolymphatic sac

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Martin Nue; Caye-Thomasen, Per; Qvortrup, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    in the intraosseous part of the sac: mitochondria-rich cells, ribosome-rich cells, and nonclassifiable cells. A fourth cell type was found in the extraosseous part. Novel ultrastructural features of the epithelial lining and the subepithelial layer are described and discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The results in the present......OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of the present study is to describe in detail the ultrastructure of the human endolymphatic sac using a new and improved method of fixation as well as a refined surgical approach in obtaining specimens. STUDY DESIGN: Transmission electron microscopy of the human...... study indicate an improvement in obtaining human tissue with optimal fixation for ultrastructural analysis and provide several novel morphologic observations. The potential functions of the endolymphatic sac are discussed with reference to former studies....

  5. Using human rights for sexual and reproductive health: improving legal and regulatory frameworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kismodi, Eszter; Hilber, Adriane Martin; Lincetto, Ornella; Stahlhofer, Marcus; Gruskin, Sofia

    2010-01-01

    Abstract This paper describes the development of a tool that uses human rights concepts and methods to improve relevant laws, regulations and policies related to sexual and reproductive health. This tool aims to improve awareness and understanding of States’ human rights obligations. It includes a method for systematically examining the status of vulnerable groups, involving non-health sectors, fostering a genuine process of civil society participation and developing recommendations to address regulatory and policy barriers to sexual and reproductive health with a clear assignment of responsibility. Strong leadership from the ministry of health, with support from the World Health Organization or other international partners, and the serious engagement of all involved in this process can strengthen the links between human rights and sexual and reproductive health, and contribute to national achievement of the highest attainable standard of health. PMID:20616975

  6. 75 FR 41577 - VBA/VHA Musculoskeletal Forum: Improving VA's Disability Evaluation Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-16

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS VBA/VHA Musculoskeletal Forum: Improving VA's Disability Evaluation Criteria AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)/Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Musculoskeletal Forum...

  7. Applying Human Factors Evaluation and Design Guidance to a Nuclear Power Plant Digital Control System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas Ulrich; Ronald Boring; William Phoenix; Emily Dehority; Tim Whiting; Jonathan Morrell; Rhett Backstrom

    2012-08-01

    The United States (U.S.) nuclear industry, like similar process control industries, has moved toward upgrading its control rooms. The upgraded control rooms typically feature digital control system (DCS) displays embedded in the panels. These displays gather information from the system and represent that information on a single display surface. In this manner, the DCS combines many previously separate analog indicators and controls into a single digital display, whereby the operators can toggle between multiple windows to monitor and control different aspects of the plant. The design of the DCS depends on the function of the system it monitors, but revolves around presenting the information most germane to an operator at any point in time. DCSs require a carefully designed human system interface. This report centers on redesigning existing DCS displays for an example chemical volume control system (CVCS) at a U.S. nuclear power plant. The crucial nature of the CVCS, which controls coolant levels and boration in the primary system, requires a thorough human factors evaluation of its supporting DCS. The initial digital controls being developed for the DCSs tend to directly mimic the former analog controls. There are, however, unique operator interactions with a digital vs. analog interface, and the differences have not always been carefully factored in the translation of an analog interface to a replacement DCS. To ensure safety, efficiency, and usability of the emerging DCSs, a human factors usability evaluation was conducted on a CVCS DCS currently being used and refined at an existing U.S. nuclear power plant. Subject matter experts from process control engineering, software development, and human factors evaluated the DCS displays to document potential usability issues and propose design recommendations. The evaluation yielded 167 potential usability issues with the DCS. These issues should not be considered operator performance problems but rather opportunities

  8. IMPROVING STRUCTURAL INTERVENTIONS THROUGH THE EVALUATION PROCESS. CASE STUDY - THE REGIONAL OPERATIONAL PROGRAM OF ROMANIA 2007 – 2013

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela AIOANEI

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper is part of a broader study that addresses the topic of the role of evaluation within the System of Structural Instruments in Romania. The main objective is to identify the mechanisms that can lead to the institutionalization of evaluation as an instrument of public interventions improvement. The study is based on several key assumptions: the current maturation level of the evaluation culture in Romania is still incipient, the development of the evaluation process is considered only under the framework of structural instruments, the low impact of the evaluation practice towards the interventions at stake and the waste of financial, human and time resources that is being generated when a system does not fulfill its main purpose. The current article presents a study case of the evaluation system developed under the Romanian Regional Operational Program during the financial cycle 2007 – 2013. The research is based on an analysis of the evaluation process that aims to highlight its strengths and weaknesses as well as to determine a set of main factors that influence the capacity of the process to achieve its purpose, namely to contribute to the increase of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Regional Operational Program. The article is focused on the analysis of the perspective of the stakeholders that are involved in the management and evaluation process. Therefore it is based on an exploratory approach, analyzing data collected from the hard core side of this sector, which includes the commissioners of the evaluation studies at the level of the program, the managers of the evaluation system at the central level and the external evaluation experts that develop the evaluation studies and deliver the evaluation reports.

  9. Human growth hormone stabilizes walking and improves strength in a patient with dominantly inherited calpainopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prahm, Kira Philipsen; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla; Vissing, John

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to investigate if daily low-dose treatment with recombinant human growth hormone (somatropine) can stabilize or improve muscle strength and walking capability in a patient with dominantly inherited calpainopathy. The patient was treated with daily injections of somatropine, except...... for a 6-month pause, over a period of 4.5 years. Efficacy was assessed by repeated muscle dynamometry tests and 6-minute walk tests (6MWT). Strength improved in most muscle groups on treatment, deteriorated in the 6-month off treatment, and improved again when treatment was resumed. The 6MWT stabilized...... during the initial 18-month treatment period, then deteriorated in the 6 months off treatment and improved to pre-trial levels when treatment was resumed. The findings suggest that supplementation with somatropine, within physiological ranges, may improve muscle strength and stabilize walking capability...

  10. Evaluation of Organic Environmental Pollutants Detected in Human Milk

    OpenAIRE

    Kishikawa, Naoya; Kuroda, Naotaka

    2009-01-01

    Human milk is an important food source for infant because it contains a large number of nutritional substances, growth and immune factors. However, human milk may be contaminated with environmental pollutants when mothers are exposed to these pollutants. In particular, lipophilic organic pollutants are likely to accumulate in milk fat. Therefore, the determination of the organic pollutants levels in human milk is necessary to estimate the health risks of these pollutants to milk-fed infants. ...

  11. Validation of a Quantitative Single-Subject Based Evaluation for Rehabilitation-Induced Improvement Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolla, Marta; Molteni, Franco; Ward, Nick S; Guanziroli, Eleonora; Ferrigno, Giancarlo; Pedrocchi, Alessandra

    2015-11-01

    The foreseen outcome of a rehabilitation treatment is a stable improvement on the functional outcomes, which can be longitudinally assessed through multiple measures to help clinicians in functional evaluation. In this study, we propose an automatic comprehensive method of combining multiple measures in order to assess a functional improvement. As test-bed, a functional electrical stimulation based treatment for foot drop correction performed with chronic post-stroke participants is presented. Patients were assessed on five relevant outcome measures before, after intervention, and at a follow-up time-point. A novel algorithm based on variables minimum detectable change is proposed and implemented in a custom-made software, combining the outcome measures to obtain a unique parameter: capacity score. The difference between capacity scores at different timing is three holded to obtain improvement evaluation. Ten clinicians evaluated patients on the Improvement Clinical Global Impression scale. Eleven patients underwent the treatment, and five resulted to achieve a stable functional improvement, as assessed by the proposed algorithm. A statistically significant agreement between intra-clinicians and algorithm-clinicians evaluations was demonstrated. The proposed method evaluates functional improvement on a single-subject yes/no base by merging different measures (e.g., kinematic, muscular) and it is validated against clinical evaluation.

  12. Department of Defense and Security Cooperation: Improving Prioritization, Authorities, and Evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-09

    building human capital and institutions. As such countries as Colombia, Georgia, Romania, and South Korea improved their own governance, for example...Regional Centers, and other professional military education programs should serve as the foundation of security cooperation and as a top priority for...institution-building and human capital investments, Congress might consider ways to encourage DoD to consistently prioritize activities that strengthen a

  13. Entire CD3ε, δ, and γ humanized mouse to evaluate human CD3–mediated therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Otoya; Wada, Naoko A.; Kinoshita, Yasuko; Hino, Hiroshi; Kakefuda, Mami; Ito, Tsuneo; Fujii, Etsuko; Noguchi, Mizuho; Sato, Kiyoharu; Morita, Masahiro; Tateishi, Hiromi; Matsumoto, Kaoru; Goto, Chisato; Kawase, Yosuke; Kato, Atsuhiko; Hattori, Kunihiro; Nezu, Junichi; Ishiguro, Takahiro; Jishage, Kou-ichi

    2017-01-01

    T cell–mediated immunotherapy is an attractive strategy for treatment in various disease areas. In this therapeutic approach, the CD3 complex is one of the key molecules to modulate T cell functions; however, in many cases, we cannot evaluate the drug candidates in animal experiments because the therapeutics, usually monoclonal antibodies specific to human CD3, cannot react to mouse endogenous Cd3. Although immunodeficient mice transfused with human hematopoietic stem or precursor cells, known as humanized mice, are available for these studies, mice humanized in this manner are not completely immune competent. In this study we have succeeded in establishing a novel mouse strain in which all the three components of the Cd3 complex — Cd3ε, Cd3δ, and Cd3γ — are replaced by their human counterparts, CD3E, CD3D, and CD3G. Basic immunological assessments have confirmed that this strain of human CD3 EDG–replaced mice are entirely immune competent, and we have also demonstrated that a bispecific antibody that simultaneously binds to human CD3 and a tumor-associated antigen (e.g. ERBB2 or GPC3) can be evaluated in human CD3 EDG–replaced mice engrafted with tumors. Our mouse model provides a novel means to evaluate the in vivo efficacy of human CD3–mediated therapy. PMID:28368009

  14. Evaluating a New and Aspiring County Extension Director Leadership Education Program: Determining Outcomes and Needed Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Owen, Mitchel; Jones, David

    2010-01-01

    This leadership education evaluation study explored the leadership development outcomes of potential county extension directors and the ways to improve the program. The leadership education program aimed to improve participants' leadership abilities in understanding self, building relationships and managing resources. The analysis of quantitative…

  15. School Improvement and Staff Development. Documentation and Evaluation Study. A Texas Teacher Corps Network Conference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weibly, Gary W.; Olivarez, Ruben Dario

    Summaries are given of the formal presentations, seminar group discussions, and problem solving sessions of a Teacher Corps conference on professional improvement by means of inservice teacher education and improvement of individual school climates. Evaluation of the conference is presented in the form of the Context/Input/Process/Product (CIPP)…

  16. 38 CFR 21.6140 - Evaluation and improvement of rehabilitation potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... improvement of rehabilitation potential. 21.6140 Section 21.6140 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Temporary Program of Vocational Training for Certain New Pension Recipients Evaluation and Improvement of Rehabilitation Potential...

  17. Evaluation of intestinal phosphate binding to improve the safety profile of oral sodium phosphate bowel cleansing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stef Robijn

    Full Text Available Prior to colonoscopy, bowel cleansing is performed for which frequently oral sodium phosphate (OSP is used. OSP results in significant hyperphosphatemia and cases of acute kidney injury (AKI referred to as acute phosphate nephropathy (APN; characterized by nephrocalcinosis are reported after OSP use, which led to a US-FDA warning. To improve the safety profile of OSP, it was evaluated whether the side-effects of OSP could be prevented with intestinal phosphate binders. Hereto a Wistar rat model of APN was developed. OSP administration (2 times 1.2 g phosphate by gavage with a 12h time interval induced bowel cleansing (severe diarrhea and significant hyperphosphatemia (21.79 ± 5.07 mg/dl 6h after the second OSP dose versus 8.44 ± 0.97 mg/dl at baseline. Concomitantly, serum PTH levels increased fivefold and FGF-23 levels showed a threefold increase, while serum calcium levels significantly decreased from 11.29 ± 0.53 mg/dl at baseline to 8.68 ± 0.79 mg/dl after OSP. OSP administration induced weaker NaPi-2a staining along the apical proximal tubular membrane. APN was induced: serum creatinine increased (1.5 times baseline and nephrocalcinosis developed (increased renal calcium and phosphate content and calcium phosphate deposits on Von Kossa stained kidney sections. Intestinal phosphate binding (lanthanum carbonate or aluminum hydroxide was not able to attenuate the OSP induced side-effects. In conclusion, a clinically relevant rat model of APN was developed. Animals showed increased serum phosphate levels similar to those reported in humans and developed APN. No evidence was found for an improved safety profile of OSP by using intestinal phosphate binders.

  18. Liquid human milk fortifier significantly improves docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid status in preterm infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berseth, C L; Harris, C L; Wampler, J L; Hoffman, D R; Diersen-Schade, D A

    2014-09-01

    We report the fatty acid composition of mother׳s own human milk from one of the largest US cohorts of lactating mothers of preterm infants. Milk fatty acid data were used as a proxy for intake at enrollment in infants (n=150) who received human milk with a powder human milk fortifier (HMF; Control) or liquid HMF [LHMF; provided additional 12mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 20mg arachidonic acid (ARA)/100mL human milk]. Mothers provided milk samples (n=129) and reported maternal DHA consumption (n=128). Infant blood samples were drawn at study completion (Study Day 28). Human milk and infant PPL fatty acids were analyzed using capillary column gas chromatography. DHA and ARA were within ranges previously published for US term and preterm human milk. Compared to Control HMF (providing no DHA or ARA), human milk fortified with LHMF significantly increased infant PPL DHA and ARA and improved preterm infant DHA and ARA status. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. The Mixing of Methods: a three-step process for improving rigour in impact evaluations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ton, G.

    2012-01-01

    This article describes a systematic process that is helpful in improving impact evaluation assignments, within restricted budgets and timelines. It involves three steps: a rethink of the key questions of the evaluation to develop more relevant, specific questions; a way of designing a mix of

  20. Improving Primary Care with Human-Centered Design and Partnership-Based Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    May-Lynn Andresen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to empower and activate first-line staff (FLS to improve the six-month depression remission rate in a primary care clinic. Background: Lack of workforce engagement has been identified as an emerging national problem in health care and health care leaders have urged practice redesign to foster the Triple Aim of improved population health, improved care experience, and reduced cost of care (Berwick et al., 2008. Depression is difficult to manage and often exacerbates chronic illnesses and shortens lifespans, yet despite known effective treatments, six-month remission rates are low and care practices are often inadequate. Engaging in empowering leadership behaviors has demonstrated improvement in motivation, work outcomes, and empowerment in various industry settings across the world. Core approaches include: enhancing staff self-determination, encouraging participation in decision-making, and ensuring that staff have the knowledge and tools to achieve their performance goals, in addition to leadership communications that increase confidence in staff’s potential to perform at high levels, and their recognition that their efforts have an impact on improving organizational effectiveness. Methods: In this outpatient setting, care was siloed, staff were disengaged and a hierarchical paradigm was evident. Human-centered design principles were employed to intensively explore stakeholders’ experiences and to deeply engage end users in improving depression remission rates by creating, participating, and partnering in solutions. Leadership was educated in and deployed empowering leadership behaviors, which were synergistic with design thinking, and fostered empowerment. Results: Pre- and post-surveys demonstrated statistically significant improvement in empowerment. The six-month depression remission rate increased 167%, from 7.3% (N=261 to 19.4% (N=247. Conclusion: The convergence of

  1. An interdisciplinary review of current and future approaches to improving human-predator relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pooley, S; Barua, M; Beinart, W; Dickman, A; Holmes, G; Lorimer, J; Loveridge, A J; Macdonald, D W; Marvin, G; Redpath, S; Sillero-Zubiri, C; Zimmermann, A; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2017-06-01

    In a world of shrinking habitats and increasing competition for natural resources, potentially dangerous predators bring the challenges of coexisting with wildlife sharply into focus. Through interdisciplinary collaboration among authors trained in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, we reviewed current approaches to mitigating adverse human-predator encounters and devised a vision for future approaches to understanding and mitigating such encounters. Limitations to current approaches to mitigation include too much focus on negative impacts; oversimplified equating of levels of damage with levels of conflict; and unsuccessful technical fixes resulting from failure to engage locals, address hidden costs, or understand cultural (nonscientific) explanations of the causality of attacks. An emerging interdisciplinary literature suggests that to better frame and successfully mitigate negative human-predator relations conservation professionals need to consider dispensing with conflict as the dominant framework for thinking about human-predator encounters; work out what conflicts are really about (they may be human-human conflicts); unravel the historical contexts of particular conflicts; and explore different cultural ways of thinking about animals. The idea of cosmopolitan natures may help conservation professionals think more clearly about human-predator relations in both local and global context. These new perspectives for future research practice include a recommendation for focused interdisciplinary research and the use of new approaches, including human-animal geography, multispecies ethnography, and approaches from the environmental humanities notably environmental history. Managers should think carefully about how they engage with local cultural beliefs about wildlife, work with all parties to agree on what constitutes good evidence, develop processes and methods to mitigate conflicts, and decide how to monitor and evaluate these. Demand for

  2. Cryopreservation with glycerol improves the in vitro biomechanical characteristics of human patellar tendon allografts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhodolčan, Lovro; Brojan, Miha; Kosel, Franc; Drobnič, Matej; Alibegović, Armin; Brecelj, Janez

    2013-05-01

    To evaluate the in vitro biomechanical characteristics of patellar tendon ligaments (BTB) when stored as fresh frozen or as glycerol cryopreserved allografts. Seventy patellar tendons were harvested from 35 cadaveric human donors and randomly assigned into seven groups. Grafts in group FRESH were mechanically tested within 2 h of harvesting. FROZ-3, FROZ-6, and FROZ-9 were deep-frozen to -80 °C for 3, 6, and 9 months, respectively. Grafts in groups CRYO-3, CRYO-6, and CRYO-9 were initially incubated with 10% glycerol in a phosphate-buffered saline for 1 h and then stored in glycerol solution (10% glycerol in PBS) at -80 °C for 3, 6, and 9 months, respectively. Grafts were mechanically tested with two cycling modes (50-250 °N and 150-500 °N) and then loaded to failure. Cryopreserved grafts demonstrated more consistent results and expressed lower elongation rates after both cycling loading protocols compared to their frozen counterparts at all storage times. During load-to-failure analysis, ultimate stiffness levels were predominantly higher (23.9-61.5%) in cryopreserved grafts compared with frozen grafts, and ultimate stress levels were 26% (13.3-47.7%) higher, regardless of the storage time. Moreover, cryopreserved grafts revealed similar ultimate elongation and uniformly higher ultimate stiffness and ultimate stress levels compared to fresh grafts. The results of this in vitro study demonstrated superior mechanical properties of cryopreserved grafts compared to frozen grafts within a preservation period of 9 months. Cryopreservation with glycerol solution might be used to further improve the quality of preserved soft-tissue allografts.

  3. Hydrophilic, Potent, and Selective 7-Substituted 2-Aminoquinolines as Improved Human Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pensa, Anthony V; Cinelli, Maris A; Li, Huiying; Chreifi, Georges; Mukherjee, Paramita; Roman, Linda J; Martásek, Pavel; Poulos, Thomas L; Silverman, Richard B

    2017-08-24

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is a target for development of antineurodegenerative agents. Most nNOS inhibitors mimic l-arginine and have poor bioavailability. 2-Aminoquinolines showed promise as bioavailable nNOS inhibitors but suffered from low human nNOS inhibition, low selectivity versus human eNOS, and significant binding to other CNS targets. We aimed to improve human nNOS potency and selectivity and reduce off-target binding by (a) truncating the original scaffold or (b) introducing a hydrophilic group to interrupt the lipophilic, promiscuous pharmacophore and promote interaction with human nNOS-specific His342. We synthesized both truncated and polar 2-aminoquinoline derivatives and assayed them against recombinant NOS enzymes. Although aniline and pyridine derivatives interact with His342, benzonitriles conferred the best rat and human nNOS inhibition. Both introduction of a hydrophobic substituent next to the cyano group and aminoquinoline methylation considerably improved isoform selectivity. Most importantly, these modifications preserved Caco-2 permeability and reduced off-target CNS binding.

  4. Improving teaching on the basis of student evaluation: integrative teaching consultation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibbecke, Gerald; Kahmann, Janine; Pignotti, Tanja; Altenberger, Leander; Kadmon, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Due to the development of medical education in the past decade the role of teachers has changed and requires higher didactic competence. Student evaluation of teaching alone does not lead to considerable improvement of teaching quality. We present the concept of "Integrative Teaching Consultation", which comprises both the teacher's reflection and own objectives to improve their teaching as well as data from students ratings. Teachers in collaboration with a teaching consultant reflect on their teaching ability and set themselves improvement goals. Then the consultant himself observes a teaching session and subsequently analyses the respective student evaluation in order to give meaningful feedback to the teacher. The combination of student feedback with professional consultation elements can initiate and maintain improvements in teaching. Teaching consultation complements existing faculty development programs and increases the benefit of student evaluations.

  5. Improving teaching on the basis of student evaluation: Integrative teaching consultation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wibbecke, Gerald

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Due to the development of medical education in the past decade the role of teachers has changed and requires higher didactic competence. Student evaluation of teaching alone does not lead to considerable improvement of teaching quality. We present the concept of "Integrative Teaching Consultation", which comprises both the teacher’s reflection and own objectives to improve their teaching as well as data from students ratings.Methods: Teachers in collaboration with a teaching consultant reflect on their teaching ability and set themselves improvement goals. Then the consultant himself observes a teaching session and subsequently analyses the respective student evaluation in order to give meaningful feedback to the teacher.Results: The combination of student feedback with professional consultation elements can initiate and maintain improvements in teaching. Conclusion: Teaching consultation complements existing faculty development programs and increases the benefit of student evaluations.

  6. Relating Linear and Volumetric Variables Through Body Scanning to Improve Human Interfaces in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margerum, Sarah E.; Ferrer, Mike A.; Young, Karen S.; Rajulu, Sudhakar

    2010-01-01

    Designing space suits and vehicles for the diverse human population present unique challenges for the methods of traditional anthropometry. Space suits are bulky and allow the operator to shift position within the suit and inhibit the ability to identify body landmarks. Limited suit sizing options also cause variability in fit and performance between similarly sized individuals. Space vehicles are restrictive in volume in both the fit and the ability to collect data. NASA's Anthropometric and Biomechanics Facility (ABF) has utilized 3D scanning to shift from traditional linear anthropometry to explore and examine volumetric capabilities to provide anthropometric solutions for design. Overall, the key goals are to improve the human-system performance and develop new processes to aid in the design and evaluation of space systems. Four case studies are presented that illustrate the shift from purely linear analyses to an augmented volumetric toolset to predict and analyze the human within the space suit and vehicle. The first case study involves the calculation of maximal head volume to estimate total free volume in the helmet for proper air exchange. Traditional linear measurements resulted in an inaccurate representation of the head shape, yet limited data exists for the determination of a large head volume. Steps were first taken to identify and classify a maximum head volume and the resulting comparisons to the estimate are presented in this paper. This study illustrates the gap between linear components of anthropometry and the need for overall volume metrics in order to provide solutions. A second case study examines the overlay of the space suit scans and components onto scanned individuals to quantify fit and clearance to aid in sizing the suit to the individual. Restrictions in space suit size availability present unique challenges to optimally fit the individual within a limited sizing range while maintaining performance. Quantification of the clearance and

  7. Improved histochemical methods for the examination of plastic-embedded human marrow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moosavi, H.; Lichtman, M. A.; Donnelly, J. A.; Churukian, C. J.

    1979-01-01

    Improved methods for processing, sectioning, and staining plastic (glycol methacrylate) embedded human marrow biopsies are described. Marrow biopsies processed by this technique were compared with biopsies processed by the conventional paraffin embedding method. The plastic-embedded marrows provide better morphology enhancing diagnostic accuracy, permit assessment of bone as well as marrow, and allow histochemical analysis of biopsy specimen. Special stains including naphtol AS-D chloroacetate esterase, periodic acid Schiff (PAS), reticulin, and iron have been modified so that they are suitable for undecalcified, two microns thick, plastic-embedded human marrow biopsies.

  8. THE INFLUENCE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ON IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS ETHICS

    OpenAIRE

    Radenko Maric; Jelena Vemic- Djurkovic

    2010-01-01

    In this paper the importance of practice of human resource management as of a significant driver of business ethics in companies has been considered. The basic premise of the paper is the fact that the company’s main source of unethical behaviour is situated in its people’s activities which further implies that many measures aimed to apply and improve business ethics belong to the domain of human resource management. Based on research results on a sample of 36 enterprises, the paper attempts...

  9. PPARγ agonists improve survival and neurocognitive outcomes in experimental cerebral malaria and induce neuroprotective pathways in human malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Serghides

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral malaria (CM is associated with a high mortality rate, and long-term neurocognitive impairment in approximately one third of survivors. Adjunctive therapies that modify the pathophysiological processes involved in CM may improve outcome over anti-malarial therapy alone. PPARγ agonists have been reported to have immunomodulatory effects in a variety of disease models. Here we report that adjunctive therapy with PPARγ agonists improved survival and long-term neurocognitive outcomes in the Plasmodium berghei ANKA experimental model of CM. Compared to anti-malarial therapy alone, PPARγ adjunctive therapy administered to mice at the onset of CM signs, was associated with reduced endothelial activation, and enhanced expression of the anti-oxidant enzymes SOD-1 and catalase and the neurotrophic factors brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and nerve growth factor (NGF in the brains of infected mice. Two months following infection, mice that were treated with anti-malarials alone demonstrated cognitive dysfunction, while mice that received PPARγ adjunctive therapy were completely protected from neurocognitive impairment and from PbA-infection induced brain atrophy. In humans with P. falciparum malaria, PPARγ therapy was associated with reduced endothelial activation and with induction of neuroprotective pathways, such as BDNF. These findings provide insight into mechanisms conferring improved survival and preventing neurocognitive injury in CM, and support the evaluation of PPARγ agonists in human CM.

  10. Computational and human observer image quality evaluation of low dose, knowledge-based CT iterative reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eck, Brendan L.; Fahmi, Rachid; Brown, Kevin M.; Zabic, Stanislav; Raihani, Nilgoun; Miao, Jun; Wilson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Aims in this study are to (1) develop a computational model observer which reliably tracks the detectability of human observers in low dose computed tomography (CT) images reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction (IMR™, Philips Healthcare) and filtered back projection (FBP) across a range of independent variables, (2) use the model to evaluate detectability trends across reconstructions and make predictions of human observer detectability, and (3) perform human observer studies based on model predictions to demonstrate applications of the model in CT imaging. Methods: Detectability (d′) was evaluated in phantom studies across a range of conditions. Images were generated using a numerical CT simulator. Trained observers performed 4-alternative forced choice (4-AFC) experiments across dose (1.3, 2.7, 4.0 mGy), pin size (4, 6, 8 mm), contrast (0.3%, 0.5%, 1.0%), and reconstruction (FBP, IMR), at fixed display window. A five-channel Laguerre–Gauss channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) was developed with internal noise added to the decision variable and/or to channel outputs, creating six different internal noise models. Semianalytic internal noise computation was tested against Monte Carlo and used to accelerate internal noise parameter optimization. Model parameters were estimated from all experiments at once using maximum likelihood on the probability correct, PC. Akaike information criterion (AIC) was used to compare models of different orders. The best model was selected according to AIC and used to predict detectability in blended FBP-IMR images, analyze trends in IMR detectability improvements, and predict dose savings with IMR. Predicted dose savings were compared against 4-AFC study results using physical CT phantom images. Results: Detection in IMR was greater than FBP in all tested conditions. The CHO with internal noise proportional to channel output standard deviations, Model-k4, showed the best trade-off between fit and

  11. Assessing the potential and limitations of leveraging food sovereignty to improve human health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D Jones

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Food sovereignty has been defined as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. Human health is an implied component of this definition through the principle of healthy food. In fact, improved human health is commonly cited as a benefit of transforming food production away from the dominant practices of industrial agriculture. Yet, does the use of ecologically sound and sustainable methods of food production necessarily translate into better human health outcomes? Does greater choice in defining an agricultural or food system create gains in health and well-being? We elucidate the conceptual linkages between food sovereignty and human health, critically examine the empirical evidence supporting or refuting these linkages, and identify research gaps and key priorities for the food sovereignty-human health research agenda. Five domains of food sovereignty are proposed including 1 use of agroecological management practices for food production, 2 the localizing of food production and consumption, 3 promotion of social justice and equity, 4 valuation of traditional knowledge, and 5 transforming economic and political institutions and structures to support self-determination. We find that although there are many plausible linkages between food sovereignty and human health, the empirical evidence in support of the hypothesis that increasing food sovereignty yields improvements to human health is weak. We propose that a concerted effort to generate new empirical evidence on the health implications of these domains of food sovereignty is urgently needed, and discuss areas of research that may be crucial for addressing the gaps in the evidence base.

  12. Assessing the Potential and Limitations of Leveraging Food Sovereignty to Improve Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Andrew D; Fink Shapiro, Lilly; Wilson, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    Food sovereignty has been defined as "the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems." Human health is an implied component of this definition through the principle of healthy food. In fact, improved human health is commonly cited as a benefit of transforming food production away from the dominant practices of industrial agriculture. Yet, does the use of "ecologically sound and sustainable methods" of food production necessarily translate into better human health outcomes? Does greater choice in defining an agricultural or food system create gains in health and well-being? We elucidate the conceptual linkages between food sovereignty and human health, critically examine the empirical evidence supporting or refuting these linkages, and identify research gaps and key priorities for the food sovereignty-human health research agenda. Five domains of food sovereignty are discussed including: (1) use of agroecological management practices for food production, (2) the localization of food production and consumption, (3) promotion of social justice and equity, (4) valuation of traditional knowledge, and (5) the transformation of economic and political institutions and structures to support self-determination. We find that although there are many plausible linkages between food sovereignty and human health, the empirical evidence in support of the hypothesis that increasing food sovereignty yields improvements to human health is weak. We propose that a concerted effort to generate new empirical evidence on the health implications of these domains of food sovereignty is urgently needed, and suggest areas of research that may be crucial for addressing the gaps in the evidence base.

  13. Indigenous Child Health in Brazil: The Evaluation of Impacts as a Human Rights Issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Anna R; Del Pino Marchito, Sandra; Vitoy, Bernardino

    2016-06-01

    Improving the health status of indigenous children is a long-standing challenge. Several United Nations committees have identified the health of indigenous peoples as a human rights concern. Addressing the health of indigenous children cannot be separated from their social, cultural, and historic contexts, and any related health program must offer culturally appropriate services and a community perspective broad enough to address the needs of children and the local worlds in which they live. Evaluations of programs must, therefore, address process as well as impacts. This paper assesses interventions addressing indigenous children's health in Brazil, ranging from those explicitly targeting indigenous children's health, such as the targeted immunization program for indigenous peoples, as well as more generalized programs, including a focus upon indigenous children, such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. The paper discusses the tensions and complexities of ethnically targeted health interventions as well as the conceptual and methodological challenge of measuring the processes employed and their impact. The lessons learned, especially the need for countries to more systematically collect data and evaluate impacts using ethnicity as an analytical category, are drawn out with respect to ensuring human rights for all within health sector responses.

  14. A multimedia approach for teaching human embryology: Development and evaluation of a methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraes, Suzana Guimarães; Pereira, Luis Antonio Violin

    2010-12-20

    Human embryology requires students to understand the simultaneous changes in embryos, but students find it difficult to grasp the concepts presented and to visualise the related processes in three dimensions. The aims of this study have been to develop and evaluate new educational materials and a teaching methodology based on multimedia approaches to improve the comprehension of human development. The materials developed at the State University of Campinas include clinical histories, movies, animations, and ultrasound, as well as autopsy images from embryos and foetuses. The series of embryology lectures were divided into two parts. The first part of the series addressed the development of the body's structures, while in the second part, clinical history and the corresponding materials were shown to the students, who were encouraged to discuss the malformations. The teaching materials were made available on software used by the students in classes. At the end of the discipline, the material and methodology were evaluated with an attitudinal instrument, interviews, and knowledge examination. The response rate to the attitudinal instrument was 95.35%, and the response rate to the interview was 46%. The students approved of the materials and the teaching methodology (reliability of the attitudinal instrument was 0.9057). The exams showed that most students scored above 6.0. A multimedia approach proved useful for solving an important problem associated with teaching methods in many medical institutions: the lack of integration between basic sciences and clinical disciplines. 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Analysis of the evaluated data discrepancies for minor actinides and development of improved evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ignatyuk, A. [Institute of Physics and Power Engineering, Obninsk (Russian Federation)

    1997-03-01

    The work is directed on a compilation of experimental and evaluated data available for neutron induced reaction cross sections on {sup 237}Np, {sup 241}Am, {sup 242m}Am and {sup 243}Am isotopes, on the analysis of the old data and renormalizations connected with changes of standards and on the comparison of experimental data with theoretical calculation. Main results of the analysis performed by now are presented in this report. (J.P.N.)

  16. A conceptual framework to evaluate human-wildlife interactions within coupled human and natural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Anita T. Morzillo; Kirsten M. de Beurs; Martin-Mikle, Chelsea J.

    2014-01-01

    Landscape characteristics affect human-wildlife interactions. However, there is a need to better understand mechanisms that drive those interactions, particularly feedbacks that exist between wildlife-related impacts, human reaction to and behavior as a result of those impacts, and how land use and landscape characteristics may influence those components within coupled human and natural systems. Current conceptual models of human-wildlife interactions often focus on species population size ...

  17. Improved nutrition in the first 1000 days and adult human capital and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martorell, Reynaldo

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this article is to review why the first 1000 days of life are a vulnerable period of human development and the long-term effects of a nutrition experiment carried out in Guatemala (1969-1977). In 1969-77, a supplement called Atole, containing high quality protein, energy and micronutrients, was provided to women during pregnancy and lactation and to children development, high nutritional requirements, greater susceptibility to infections, high sensitivity to programming effects and full dependence on others for care, nutrition, and social interaction. Compared with Fresco, Atole improved total nutrient intakes (protein, energy, and micronutrients) and reduced stunting, but only in children human capital and economic productivity resulted from the nutrition intervention. This provides a powerful argument for promoting improvements in nutrition in pregnant women and young children in low income countries. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Ethics in action: Approving and improving medical research with human subjects

    OpenAIRE

    de Jong, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis, Jean Philippe de Jong presents a new understanding of ethical oversight on medical research with human subjects and proposes that two philosophies for ethical oversight exist: '(dis)approving' and 'improving'. Systems for ethical oversight on medical research have been in place for many years, with Research Ethics Committees as their cornerstone. Although these oversight systems aim to ensure that the ethical quality of research is in order, they have been criticized for imped...

  19. Development of an improved HRA method: A technique for human error analysis (ATHEANA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, J.H.; Luckas, W.J. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States); Wreathall, J. [John Wreathall & Co., Dublin, OH (United States)] [and others

    1996-03-01

    Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) has become an increasingly important tool in the nuclear power industry, both for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the operating utilities. The NRC recently published a final policy statement, SECY-95-126, encouraging the use of PRA in regulatory activities. Human reliability analysis (HRA), while a critical element of PRA, has limitations in the analysis of human actions in PRAs that have long been recognized as a constraint when using PRA. In fact, better integration of HRA into the PRA process has long been a NRC issue. Of particular concern, has been the omission of errors of commission - those errors that are associated with inappropriate interventions by operators with operating systems. To address these concerns, the NRC identified the need to develop an improved HRA method, so that human reliability can be better represented and integrated into PRA modeling and quantification.

  20. Human Factors Operability Timeline Analysis to Improve the Processing Flow of the Orion Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stambolian, Damon B.; Schlierf, Roland; Miller, Darcy; Posada, Juan; Haddock, Mike; Haddad, Mike; Tran, Donald; Henderon, Gena; Barth, Tim

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Human factors and timeline analysis to have a more efficient and effective processing flow. The solution involved developing a written timeline of events that included each activity within each functional flow block. Each activity had computer animation videos and pictures of the people involved and the hardware. The Human Factors Engineering Analysis Tool (HFEAT) was improved by modifying it to include the timeline of events. The HFEAT was used to define the human factors requirements and design solutions were developed for these requirements. An example of a functional flow block diagram is shown, and a view from one of the animations (i.e., short stack pallet) is shown and explained.

  1. Human gene therapy: novel approaches to improve the current gene delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucchiarini, Magali

    2016-06-01

    Even though gene therapy made its way through the clinics to treat a number of human pathologies since the early years of experimental research and despite the recent approval of the first gene-based product (Glybera) in Europe, the safe and effective use of gene transfer vectors remains a challenge in human gene therapy due to the existence of barriers in the host organism. While work is under active investigation to improve the gene transfer systems themselves, the use of controlled release approaches may offer alternative, convenient tools of vector delivery to achieve a performant gene transfer in vivo while overcoming the various physiological barriers that preclude its wide use in patients. This article provides an overview of the most significant contributions showing how the principles of controlled release strategies may be adapted for human gene therapy.

  2. Evaluation of an improved algorithm for producing realistic 3D breast software phantoms: application for mammography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliznakova, K; Suryanarayanan, S; Karellas, A; Pallikarakis, N

    2010-11-01

    This work presents an improved algorithm for the generation of 3D breast software phantoms and its evaluation for mammography. The improved methodology has evolved from a previously presented 3D noncompressed breast modeling method used for the creation of breast models of different size, shape, and composition. The breast phantom is composed of breast surface, duct system and terminal ductal lobular units, Cooper's ligaments, lymphatic and blood vessel systems, pectoral muscle, skin, 3D mammographic background texture, and breast abnormalities. The key improvement is the development of a new algorithm for 3D mammographic texture generation. Simulated images of the enhanced 3D breast model without lesions were produced by simulating mammographic image acquisition and were evaluated subjectively and quantitatively. For evaluation purposes, a database with regions of interest taken from simulated and real mammograms was created. Four experienced radiologists participated in a visual subjective evaluation trial, as they judged the quality of the simulated mammograms, using the new algorithm compared to mammograms, obtained with the old modeling approach. In addition, extensive quantitative evaluation included power spectral analysis and calculation of fractal dimension, skewness, and kurtosis of simulated and real mammograms from the database. The results from the subjective evaluation strongly suggest that the new methodology for mammographic breast texture creates improved breast models compared to the old approach. Calculated parameters on simulated images such as beta exponent deducted from the power law spectral analysis and fractal dimension are similar to those calculated on real mammograms. The results for the kurtosis and skewness are also in good coincidence with those calculated from clinical images. Comparison with similar calculations published in the literature showed good agreement in the majority of cases. The improved methodology generated breast

  3. Improved explanation of human intelligence using cortical features with second order moments and regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyunjin; Yang, Jin-ju; Seo, Jongbum; Choi, Yu-yong; Lee, Kun-ho; Lee, Jong-min

    2014-04-01

    Cortical features derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide important information to account for human intelligence. Cortical thickness, surface area, sulcal depth, and mean curvature were considered to explain human intelligence. One region of interest (ROI) of a cortical structure consisting of thousands of vertices contained thousands of measurements, and typically, one mean value (first order moment), was used to represent a chosen ROI, which led to a potentially significant loss of information. We proposed a technological improvement to account for human intelligence in which a second moment (variance) in addition to the mean value was adopted to represent a chosen ROI, so that the loss of information would be less severe. Two computed moments for the chosen ROIs were analyzed with partial least squares regression (PLSR). Cortical features for 78 adults were measured and analyzed in conjunction with the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ). Our results showed that 45% of the variance of the FSIQ could be explained using the combination of four cortical features using two moments per chosen ROI. Our results showed improvement over using a mean value for each ROI, which explained 37% of the variance of FSIQ using the same set of cortical measurements. Our results suggest that using additional second order moments is potentially better than using mean values of chosen ROIs for regression analysis to account for human intelligence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Competences and evaluation of human resource performance in the tourism sector. The case of Ambato-Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Elizabeth Cruz Lascano

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Personnel evaluation is a tool and not an end in itself. It is a means to obtain data and information that can be registered, processed and channeled to improve human performance in organizations. There are several management practices that meet the needs of the time and the predominant structure of organizations, however, change is the only constant as far as human behavior is concerned, because of this, all the time are analyzing and researching new ways to evaluate staff performance in business, with the sole purpose of creating spaces of motivation to ensure the involvement of staff in achieving business goals. At the time, results have been achieved, but there is way to go, the analysis of the information obtained through a survey undertaken several staff tourist establishments in the city, will be the basis to determine the evaluation methodology in order to enhance the skills of those who are the driving force within the company, collaborators.

  5. Evaluation of human thorax FE model in various impact scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jansová M.

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The study focused on the validation of the 50th percentile male model — a detailed FE model of the thoracic segment of the human body developed within project Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Thorax and Upper Extremities (THOMO co-funded by the European Commission (7th Framework Programme. The model response was tested in three impact scenarios: frontal, lateral and oblique. The resulting impactor contact force vs. time and chest deflection vs. time responses were compared with experimental results. The strain profile of the 5th rib was checked with lateral and oblique strain profiles from post-mortem human subject (PMHS experiments. The influence of heart and lungs on the mechanical response of the model was assessed and the material data configuration, giving the most biofidelic thorax behaviour, was identified.

  6. Evaluation of the bleached human enamel by Scanning Electron Microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miranda, Carolina Baptista; Pagani, Clovis; Benetti, Ana Raquel

    2005-01-01

    Since bleaching has become a popular procedure, the effect of peroxides on dental hard tissues is of great interest in research. Purpose: The aim of this in vitro study was to perform a qualitative analysis of the human enamel after the application of in-office bleaching agents, using Scanning...... Electron Microscopy (SEM). Materials and Methods: Twenty intact human third molars extracted for orthodontic reasons were randomly divided into four groups (n=5) treated as follows: G1- storage in artificial saliva (control group); G2- four 30-minute applications of 35% carbamide peroxide (total exposure...

  7. Evaluation of the bleached human enamel by Scanning Electron Microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miranda, Carolina Baptista; Pagani, Clovis; Benetti, Ana Raquel

    2005-01-01

    Since bleaching has become a popular procedure, the effect of peroxides on dental hard tissues is of great interest in research. Purpose: The aim of this in vitro study was to perform a qualitative analysis of the human enamel after the application of in-office bleaching agents, using Scanning...... characteristic of an erosive process that took place on human enamel. Depression areas, including the formation of craters, and exposure of enamel rods could also be detected. Conclusion: Bleaching effects on enamel morphology were randomly distributed throughout enamel surface and various degrees of enamel...

  8. Advanced Solid State Lighting for Human Evaluation Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Holbert, Eirik

    2015-01-01

    Lighting intensity and color have a significant impact on human circadian rhythms. Advanced solid state lighting was developed for the Advanced Exploration System (AES) Deep Space Habitat(DSH) concept demonstrator. The latest generation of assemblies using the latest commercially available LED lights were designed for use in the Bigelow Aerospace Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) simulator and the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (Hi-SEAS) habitat. Agreements with both these organizations will allow the government to receive feedback on the lights and lighting algorithms from long term human interaction.

  9. Policy issues for improving monitoring and evaluation of agricultural extension programmes in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akinnagbe O. Matthew

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring and evaluation are important, yet, frequently neglected functions in most organisations. In Nigeria, many programmes have been established over the years but only little monitoring and evaluation have been carried out because of many implementation problems and lack of realistic and/or stable policy framework. This paper was designed to X-ray policy issues for improving monitoring and evaluation of agricultural programmes in Nigeria. Inductive and deductive reasoning through a review of relevant literature was used in this philosophical paper. To improve the performance of agricultural extension programmes in Nigeria, the following policy issues must be addressed: The questions of what should be monitored or evaluated, when should monitoring and/or evaluation be carried out and who should monitor and/or evaluate; and the methodology to be adopted in any project should be included in any agricultural programmes and/or policies. Manpower and financial resources, effective communication and the issue of accountability must be properly considered. The tools for monitoring and evaluation are also very crucial. The paper concluded that planning a good agricultural programme is not a problem in Nigeria but poor implementation is, as a result of poor monitoring and evaluation. Therefore, attention should be on when, how and who should be involved in monitoring and evaluation.

  10. Dynamic online peer evaluations to improve group assignments in nursing e-learning environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adwan, Jehad

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of online peer evaluation forms for online group activities in improving group project outcomes. The investigator developed and used a web-based Google Forms® self and peer evaluation form of 2 group assignments' rubric for junior and senior nursing students. The form covered elements of the assignments including: research activity, analysis of the literature, writing of report, participation in making of presentation, overall contribution to the project, and participation in the weekly group discussions. Items were rated from 1 (did not contribute) to 5 (outstanding contribution) in addition to NA when one activity did not apply. The self and peer evaluation process was conducted twice: once after group assignment 1 and once after group assignment 2. The group assignments final products were done in the form of VoiceThread online presentations that were shared with the rest of the class reflecting the groups' work on a health informatics topic of interest. Data collected as the students completed self and peer evaluations for group assignments 1 and 2. Also, optional comments regarding member performance were collected to add contextual information in addition to ratings. Students received credit for completing the peer evaluations and the grade for the particular assignment was affected by their performance based on peer evaluations of their contributions. Students' peer evaluations showed in a color-coded spreadsheet which enabled the course faculty to view real time results of students' ratings after each assignment. The faculty provided timely and tailored feedback to groups or individuals as needed, using positive feedback and commending high performance while urging struggling individual students and groups to improve lower ratings in specific areas. Comparing evaluations of both assignments, there were statistically significant improvements among all students. The mean scores of the entire sample were

  11. Improving the spectral resolution and spectral fitting of (1) H MRSI data from human calf muscle by the SPREAD technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhengchao; Zhang, Yudong; Liu, Feng; Duan, Yunsuo; Kangarlu, Alayar; Peterson, Bradley S

    2014-11-01

    Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging ((1) H MRSI) has been used for the in vivo measurement of intramyocellular lipids (IMCLs) in human calf muscle for almost two decades, but the low spectral resolution between extramyocellular lipids (EMCLs) and IMCLs, partially caused by the magnetic field inhomogeneity, has hindered the accuracy of spectral fitting. The purpose of this paper was to enhance the spectral resolution of (1) H MRSI data from human calf muscle using the SPREAD (spectral resolution amelioration by deconvolution) technique and to assess the influence of improved spectral resolution on the accuracy of spectral fitting and on in vivo measurement of IMCLs. We acquired MRI and (1) H MRSI data from calf muscles of three healthy volunteers. We reconstructed spectral lineshapes of the (1) H MRSI data based on field maps and used the lineshapes to deconvolve the measured MRS spectra, thereby eliminating the line broadening caused by field inhomogeneities and improving the spectral resolution of the (1) H MRSI data. We employed Monte Carlo (MC) simulations with 200 noise realizations to measure the variations of spectral fitting parameters and used an F-test to evaluate the significance of the differences of the variations between the spectra before SPREAD and after SPREAD. We also used Cramer-Rao lower bounds (CRLBs) to assess the improvements of spectral fitting after SPREAD. The use of SPREAD enhanced the separation between EMCL and IMCL peaks in (1) H MRSI spectra from human calf muscle. MC simulations and F-tests showed that the use of SPREAD significantly reduced the standard deviations of the estimated IMCL peak areas (p < 10(-8) ), and the CRLBs were strongly reduced (by ~37%). Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Prior Podcast Experience Moderates Improvement in Electroencephalography Evaluation After Educational Podcast Module.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilopoulos, Terrie; Chau, Destiny F; Bensalem-Owen, Meriem; Cibula, Jean E; Fahy, Brenda G

    2015-09-01

    There is continued interest in using technology to enhance medical education and the variables that may affect its success. Anesthesiology residents and fourth-year medical students participated in an electroencephalography (EEG) educational video podcast module. A 25-item evaluation tool was administered before any EEG education was provided (baseline), and the podcast was then viewed. Another 25-item evaluation tool was administered after podcast viewing (after podcast). Ten EEG interpretations were completed with a neurophysiologist with an additional 25-item evaluation tool administered after the interpretations (after 10 EEG interpretations). Participants were surveyed concerning technology and podcasting experience before the educational module and their responses to the podcast educational model. Multiple analyses were performed (1) to evaluate differences in improvement in EEG evaluation scores between the podcast module and the standard didactics (control group); and (2) to evaluate potential moderation by technology and the podcast experience on the change in mean EEG evaluation scores from after the podcast module to after 10 EEG interpretations. A total of 21 anesthesiology residents and 12 fourth-year medical students participated. Scores on the 25-item evaluation tool increased with each evaluation time (P ≤ 0.001). Moderation analyses revealed that individuals with more podcast experience (≥4 previous podcasts) had greater increases in scores after a podcast and 10 EEG interpretations compared with individuals with less experience (≤3 previous podcasts) (P = 0.027). Furthermore, compared with a control group with similar baseline characteristics that received only standard didactics without a podcast, those in the podcast group had greater increases in mean EEG evaluation scores between baseline and after 10 EEG interpretations. In reviewing the improvement in EEG evaluation after a podcast education module, those with more podcast experience

  13. Creative Writers and Human Behaviour: An Evaluation of Rems ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities ... Prior to the developments in psychology, which is a relatively new science of mental process and behaviour, the creative writers have had interest in the sources of the behaviour of their fictive characters, which are people portrayed in the worlds of their literary texts.

  14. Advanced Video Activity Analytics (AVAA): Human Factors Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    editors. Human Mental Workload. Amsterdam: North Holland Press; 1988. Johnson RR, Popovic DP, Olmstead RE, Stikic M, Levendowski DJ, Berka C. Drowsiness ...E2929 DESERT STORM DRIVE FORT BRAGG NC 28310 59 1 ARMY G1 (PDF) DAPE MR B KNAPP 300 ARMY PENTAGON RM 2C489 WASHINGTON DC 20310

  15. Mouse models for human intestinal microbiota research: a critical evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hugenholtz, Floor; de Vos, Willem M.

    2018-01-01

    Since the early days of the intestinal microbiota research, mouse models have been used frequently to study the interaction of microbes with their host. However, to translate the knowledge gained from mouse studies to a human situation, the major spatio-temporal similarities and differences between

  16. Development of biomechanical models for human factors evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolford, Barbara; Pandya, Abhilash; Maida, James

    1993-01-01

    Computer aided design (CAD) techniques are now well established and have become the norm in many aspects of aerospace engineering. They enable analytical studies, such as finite element analysis, to be performed to measure performance characteristics of the aircraft or spacecraft long before a physical model is built. However, because of the complexity of human performance, CAD systems for human factors are not in widespread use. The purpose of such a program would be to analyze the performance capability of a crew member given a particular environment and task. This requires the design capabilities to describe the environment's geometry and to describe the task's requirements, which may involve motion and strength. This in turn requires extensive data on human physical performance which can be generalized to many different physical configurations. PLAID is developing into such a program. Begun at Johnson Space Center in 1977, it was started to model only the geometry of the environment. The physical appearance of a human body was generated, and the tool took on a new meaning as fit, access, and reach could be checked. Specification of fields-of-view soon followed. This allowed PLAID to be used to predict what the Space Shuttle cameras or crew could see from a given point.

  17. Evaluation of the effect of horse blood supplemented with human ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    morsitans flies were assigned to each group. The first group was entirely maintained on defibrinated horse blood, while the second and third groups fed horse blood with one feed per week on human blood and vitamin supplement respectively. The result of the study showed no difference in mortality between the flies fed ...

  18. Survivin Improves Reprogramming Efficiency of Human Neural Progenitors by Single Molecule OCT4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shixin Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells have been generated from human somatic cells by ectopic expression of four Yamanaka factors. Here, we report that Survivin, an apoptosis inhibitor, can enhance iPS cells generation from human neural progenitor cells (NPCs together with one factor OCT4 (1F-OCT4-Survivin. Compared with 1F-OCT4, Survivin accelerates the process of reprogramming from human NPCs. The neurocyte-originated induced pluripotent stem (NiPS cells generated from 1F-OCT4-Survivin resemble human embryonic stem (hES cells in morphology, surface markers, global gene expression profiling, and epigenetic status. Survivin keeps high expression in both iPS and ES cells. During the process of NiPS cell to neural cell differentiation, the expression of Survivin is rapidly decreased in protein level. The mechanism of Survivin promotion of reprogramming efficiency from NPCs may be associated with stabilization of β-catenin in WNT signaling pathway. This hypothesis is supported by experiments of RT-PCR, chromatin immune-precipitation, and Western blot in human ES cells. Our results showed overexpression of Survivin could improve the efficiency of reprogramming from NPCs to iPS cells by one factor OCT4 through stabilization of the key molecule, β-catenin.

  19. An evaluation of the Human Capital BRidgeTM framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mpho D. Magau

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: The methodologies employed for achieving two important goals of human resource (HR measurement, namely to enhance decisions about human capital and to connect HR and business strategy, are rarely empirically investigated.Research purpose: The aim of the present study was therefore to use the Human Capital (HC BRidgeTM framework to compare the views of HR practitioners with those of line management on HC solutions towards achieving strategic business objectives.Motivation for the study: The motivation for this study was to determine whether the HC BRidgeTM framework can create a useful platform for leveraging human capital solutions and for demonstrating HR value-add.Research design: A census-based survey was conducted on a target population of 787 supervisors and managers in specific categories in a mining company, which yielded 202 responses. The measuring instrument used was based on the HC BRidgeTM framework and on the company’s strategic objectives. Item intercorrelations on the subscales were followed by factor analyses and iterative item analyses.Main findings/results: The self-developed measuring instrument yielded an overall Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.97. Statistically significant differences were found between line management’s and HR practitioners’ views in respect of the three strategic business objectives.Practical/managerial implications: The results suggested that HR management was not yet fully aligned in respect of strategic business objectives and of becoming a strategic business partner.Contribution/value-add: The study therefore suggested that the HC BRidgeTM framework can be used as a method to connect human capital processes with business strategy to leverage business results and to demonstrate value-add.

  20. An Improved Methodology to Overcome Key Issues in Human Fecal Metagenomic DNA Extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitendra Kumar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbes are ubiquitously distributed in nature, and recent culture-independent studies have highlighted the significance of gut microbiota in human health and disease. Fecal DNA is the primary source for the majority of human gut microbiome studies. However, further improvement is needed to obtain fecal metagenomic DNA with sufficient amount and good quality but low host genomic DNA contamination. In the current study, we demonstrate a quick, robust, unbiased, and cost-effective method for the isolation of high molecular weight (>23 kb metagenomic DNA (260/280 ratio >1.8 with a good yield (55.8 ± 3.8 ng/mg of feces. We also confirm that there is very low human genomic DNA contamination (eubacterial: human genomic DNA marker genes = 227.9:1 in the human feces. The newly-developed method robustly performs for fresh as well as stored fecal samples as demonstrated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing using 454 FLX+. Moreover, 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated that compared to other DNA extraction methods tested, the fecal metagenomic DNA isolated with current methodology retains species richness and does not show microbial diversity biases, which is further confirmed by qPCR with a known quantity of spike-in genomes. Overall, our data highlight a protocol with a balance between quality, amount, user-friendliness, and cost effectiveness for its suitability toward usage for culture-independent analysis of the human gut microbiome, which provides a robust solution to overcome key issues associated with fecal metagenomic DNA isolation in human gut microbiome studies.

  1. An Improved Methodology to Overcome Key Issues in Human Fecal Metagenomic DNA Extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Jitendra; Kumar, Manoj; Gupta, Shashank; Ahmed, Vasim; Bhambi, Manu; Pandey, Rajesh; Chauhan, Nar Singh

    2016-12-01

    Microbes are ubiquitously distributed in nature, and recent culture-independent studies have highlighted the significance of gut microbiota in human health and disease. Fecal DNA is the primary source for the majority of human gut microbiome studies. However, further improvement is needed to obtain fecal metagenomic DNA with sufficient amount and good quality but low host genomic DNA contamination. In the current study, we demonstrate a quick, robust, unbiased, and cost-effective method for the isolation of high molecular weight (>23kb) metagenomic DNA (260/280 ratio >1.8) with a good yield (55.8±3.8ng/mg of feces). We also confirm that there is very low human genomic DNA contamination (eubacterial: human genomic DNA marker genes=227.9:1) in the human feces. The newly-developed method robustly performs for fresh as well as stored fecal samples as demonstrated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing using 454 FLX+. Moreover, 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated that compared to other DNA extraction methods tested, the fecal metagenomic DNA isolated with current methodology retains species richness and does not show microbial diversity biases, which is further confirmed by qPCR with a known quantity of spike-in genomes. Overall, our data highlight a protocol with a balance between quality, amount, user-friendliness, and cost effectiveness for its suitability toward usage for culture-independent analysis of the human gut microbiome, which provides a robust solution to overcome key issues associated with fecal metagenomic DNA isolation in human gut microbiome studies. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Learning Evaluation: blending quality improvement and implementation research methods to study healthcare innovations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramanian, Bijal A; Cohen, Deborah J; Davis, Melinda M; Gunn, Rose; Dickinson, L Miriam; Miller, William L; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Stange, Kurt C

    2015-03-10

    In healthcare change interventions, on-the-ground learning about the implementation process is often lost because of a primary focus on outcome improvements. This paper describes the Learning Evaluation, a methodological approach that blends quality improvement and implementation research methods to study healthcare innovations. Learning Evaluation is an approach to multi-organization assessment. Qualitative and quantitative data are collected to conduct real-time assessment of implementation processes while also assessing changes in context, facilitating quality improvement using run charts and audit and feedback, and generating transportable lessons. Five principles are the foundation of this approach: (1) gather data to describe changes made by healthcare organizations and how changes are implemented; (2) collect process and outcome data relevant to healthcare organizations and to the research team; (3) assess multi-level contextual factors that affect implementation, process, outcome, and transportability; (4) assist healthcare organizations in using data for continuous quality improvement; and (5) operationalize common measurement strategies to generate transportable results. Learning Evaluation principles are applied across organizations by the following: (1) establishing a detailed understanding of the baseline implementation plan; (2) identifying target populations and tracking relevant process measures; (3) collecting and analyzing real-time quantitative and qualitative data on important contextual factors; (4) synthesizing data and emerging findings and sharing with stakeholders on an ongoing basis; and (5) harmonizing and fostering learning from process and outcome data. Application to a multi-site program focused on primary care and behavioral health integration shows the feasibility and utility of Learning Evaluation for generating real-time insights into evolving implementation processes. Learning Evaluation generates systematic and rigorous cross

  3. [Evaluation of human resources management in selected health care organizations in Pomerania voivodeship as far as workers motivation is concerned].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarzeczna-Baran, Marzena; Jedrzejczyk, Tadeusz

    2002-01-01

    The success of management in any organization in market-oriented environment is impossible without the proper management of human resource. The statement is true also in health care, where the internal market was imposed as a result of reforms. W scanned 44 medical organization of few different types, i.e. hospitals, clinics, nurses homes etc. In most of the organization there were no financial motivational bonus (38% of health care organizations) or only the basic bonus (40%). The system of personnel activities evaluation does not exist in 58% of scanned hospitals and clinics, and in 20% of the evaluation was conducted only occasionally. The system of employees evaluation existed only in one of each five of studied units. To improve the quality of personnel management it is necessary to improve communication inside the organizations. Only one in three of scanned facilities was marked as good or very good.

  4. An in vivo evaluation of Brilliant Blue G in animals and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remy, M; Thaler, S; Schumann, R G; May, C A; Fiedorowicz, M; Schuettauf, F; Grüterich, M; Priglinger, S G; Nentwich, M M; Kampik, A; Haritoglou, C

    2008-08-01

    To evaluate the retinal toxicity of Brilliant Blue G (BBG) following intravitreal injection in rat eyes and examine the biocompatibility and the staining properties in humans. BBG was injected into the 11 rat eyes to evaluate toxic effects with balanced salt solution (BSS) serving as control. Retinal toxicity was assessed by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) counts and by light microscopy 7 days later. In addition, BBG was applied during vitrectomy for macular hole (MH) (n = 15) or epiretinal membranes (ERM) (n = 3) in a prospective, non-comparative consecutive series of patients. Before and after surgery, all patients underwent a complete clinical examination including measurement of best corrected visual acuity (VA) and intraocular pressure, perimetry, fundus photography and optical coherence tomography. Patients were seen 1 day before surgery and then in approximately four weeks intervals. No significant reduction in RGC numbers and no morphological alterations were noted. A sufficient staining of the internal limiting membrane (ILM) was seen in patients with MH, while the staining pattern in ERM cases was patchy, indicating that parts of the ILM were peeled off along with the ERM in a variable extent. All MHs could be closed successfully. VA improved in 10 eyes (56%; 8/15 MH patients, 2/3 ERM patients), was unchanged in four eyes (22%; all MH patients) and was reduced in four eyes (22%; 3/15 MH, 1/3 ERM). No toxic effects attributable to the dye were noted during patient follow-up. The ultrastructure of tissue harvested during surgery was unremarkable. Brilliant Blue provides a sufficient and selective staining of the ILM. No retinal toxicity or adverse effects related to the dye were observed in animal and human studies. The long-term safety of this novel dye will have to be evaluated in larger patient series and a longer follow-up.

  5. Pharmacological NAD-Boosting Strategies Improve Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Human Complex I-Mutant Fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felici, Roberta; Lapucci, Andrea; Cavone, Leonardo; Pratesi, Sara; Berlinguer-Palmini, Rolando; Chiarugi, Alberto

    2015-06-01

    Mitochondrial disorders are devastating genetic diseases for which efficacious therapies are still an unmet need. Recent studies report that increased availability of intracellular NAD obtained by inhibition of the NAD-consuming enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 or supplementation with the NAD-precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) ameliorates energetic derangement and symptoms in mouse models of mitochondrial disorders. Whether these pharmacological approaches also improve bioenergetics of human cells harboring mitochondrial defects is unknown. It is also unclear whether the same signaling cascade is prompted by PARP-1 inhibitors and NR supplementation to improve mitochondrial homeostasis. Here, we show that human fibroblasts mutant for the NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) Fe-S protein 1 (NDUFS1) subunit of respiratory complex I have similar ATP, NAD, and mitochondrial content compared with control cells, but show reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. Interestingly, mutant cells also show increased transcript levels of mitochondrial DNA but not nuclear DNA respiratory complex subunits, suggesting activation of a compensatory response. At variance with prior work in mice, however, NR supplementation, but not PARP-1 inhibition, increased intracellular NAD content in NDUFS1 mutant human fibroblasts. Conversely, PARP-1 inhibitors, but not NR supplementation, increased transcription of mitochondrial transcription factor A and mitochondrial DNA-encoded respiratory complexes constitutively induced in mutant cells. Still, both NR and PARP-1 inhibitors restored mitochondrial membrane potential and increased organelle content as well as oxidative activity of NDUFS1-deficient fibroblasts. Overall, data provide the first evidence that in human cells harboring a mitochondrial respiratory defect exposure to NR or PARP-1, inhibitors activate different signaling pathways that are not invariantly prompted by NAD increases, but equally able to improve energetic

  6. An Improved Semisoft Threshold Algorithm and Its Evaluation for Denoising Random Walk in GNSS Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WU Hao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The differences in the satellite orbit and signal quality of global navigation satellite positioning system, resulting in the complexity of random walk noise in GNSS time series, has become a bottleneck problem in applying GNSS technology to the high precision deformation monitoring industry. For the complex characteristics of random walk noise, small magnitude, low frequency and low sensitivity, an improved semisoft threshold algorithm is presented. Then it forms a unified system of semisoft threshold function, so as to improve the adaptability of conventional semisoft threshold for random walk noise. In order to verify and evaluate the effect of improved semisoft threshold algorithm, MATLAB platform is used to generate a linear trend, periodic and random walk noise of the GNSS time series, a total of 1700 epochs. The results show that the improved semisoft threshold method is better than the classical method, and has better performance in the SNR and root mean square error. The evaluation results show that the morphological character has been performanced high consistency between the noise reduced by improved method with random walk noise. Further from the view of quantitative point, the evaluation results of spectral index analysis verify the applicability of the improved method for random walk noise.

  7. Towards an Improved Pilot-Vehicle Interface for Highly Automated Aircraft: Evaluation of the Haptic Flight Control System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutte, Paul; Goodrich, Kenneth; Williams, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    The control automation and interaction paradigm (e.g., manual, autopilot, flight management system) used on virtually all large highly automated aircraft has long been an exemplar of breakdowns in human factors and human-centered design. An alternative paradigm is the Haptic Flight Control System (HFCS) that is part of NASA Langley Research Center s Naturalistic Flight Deck Concept. The HFCS uses only stick and throttle for easily and intuitively controlling the actual flight of the aircraft without losing any of the efficiency and operational benefits of the current paradigm. Initial prototypes of the HFCS are being evaluated and this paper describes one such evaluation. In this evaluation we examined claims regarding improved situation awareness, appropriate workload, graceful degradation, and improved pilot acceptance. Twenty-four instrument-rated pilots were instructed to plan and fly four different flights in a fictitious airspace using a moderate fidelity desktop simulation. Three different flight control paradigms were tested: Manual control, Full Automation control, and a simplified version of the HFCS. Dependent variables included both subjective (questionnaire) and objective (SAGAT) measures of situation awareness, workload (NASA-TLX), secondary task performance, time to recognize automation failures, and pilot preference (questionnaire). The results showed a statistically significant advantage for the HFCS in a number of measures. Results that were not statistically significant still favored the HFCS. The results suggest that the HFCS does offer an attractive and viable alternative to the tactical components of today s FMS/autopilot control system. The paper describes further studies that are planned to continue to evaluate the HFCS.

  8. Improved Detection of Human Respiration Using Data Fusion Basedon a Multistatic UWB Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Lv

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigated the feasibility for improved detection of human respiration using data fusion based on a multistatic ultra-wideband (UWB radar. UWB-radar-based respiration detection is an emerging technology that has great promise in practice. It can be applied to remotely sense the presence of a human target for through-wall surveillance, post-earthquake search and rescue, etc. In these applications, a human target’s position and posture are not known a priori. Uncertainty of the two factors results in a body orientation issue of UWB radar, namely the human target’s thorax is not always facing the radar. Thus, the radial component of the thorax motion due to respiration decreases and the respiratory motion response contained in UWB radar echoes is too weak to be detected. To cope with the issue, this paper used multisensory information provided by the multistatic UWB radar, which took the form of impulse radios and comprised one transmitting and four separated receiving antennas. An adaptive Kalman filtering algorithm was then designed to fuse the UWB echo data from all the receiving channels to detect the respiratory-motion response contained in those data. In the experiment, a volunteer’s respiration was correctly detected when he curled upon a camp bed behind a brick wall. Under the same scenario, the volunteer’s respiration was detected based on the radar’s single transmitting-receiving channels without data fusion using conventional algorithm, such as adaptive line enhancer and single-channel Kalman filtering. Moreover, performance of the data fusion algorithm was experimentally investigated with different channel combinations and antenna deployments. The experimental results show that the body orientation issue for human respiration detection via UWB radar can be dealt well with the multistatic UWB radar and the Kalman-filter-based data fusion, which can be applied to improve performance of UWB radar in real applications.

  9. Usage of wondershare quizcreator software for assessment as a way of improving math evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Jovanovska, Dobrila; Atanasova-Pacemska, Tatjana; Lazarova, Limonka; Pacemska, Sanja; Kovacheva, Tcveta

    2015-01-01

    Checking and evaluation are one of the most important elements of the learning process, because they provide information about the extent to which students achieved previously uploaded educational standards. This paper is a proposal how to improve the evaluation process in mathematics by using electronic tests created by multimedia software known as Wondershare quizcreator software. To make tests for computer based test, there are multiple quiz/test tools to choose from, but for the ...

  10. Nutritional Evaluation of Australian Microalgae as Potential Human Health Supplements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Megan; Welladsen, Heather M.; Mangott, Arnold; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the biochemical suitability of Australian native microalgal species Scenedesmus sp., Nannochloropsis sp., Dunaliella sp., and a chlorophytic polyculture as nutritional supplements for human health. The four microalgal cultures were harvested during exponential growth, lyophilized, and analysed for proximate composition (moisture, ash, lipid, carbohydrates, and protein), pigments, and amino acid and fatty acid profiles. The resulting nutritional value, based on biochemical composition, was compared to commercial Spirulina and Chlorella products. The Australian native microalgae exhibited similar, and in several cases superior, organic nutritional properties relative to the assessed commercial products, with biochemical profiles rich in high-quality protein, nutritious polyunsaturated fats (such as α-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid), and antioxidant pigments. These findings indicate that the microalgae assessed have great potential as multi-nutrient human health supplements. PMID:25723496

  11. Nutritional evaluation of Australian microalgae as potential human health supplements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Kent

    Full Text Available This study investigated the biochemical suitability of Australian native microalgal species Scenedesmus sp., Nannochloropsis sp., Dunaliella sp., and a chlorophytic polyculture as nutritional supplements for human health. The four microalgal cultures were harvested during exponential growth, lyophilized, and analysed for proximate composition (moisture, ash, lipid, carbohydrates, and protein, pigments, and amino acid and fatty acid profiles. The resulting nutritional value, based on biochemical composition, was compared to commercial Spirulina and Chlorella products. The Australian native microalgae exhibited similar, and in several cases superior, organic nutritional properties relative to the assessed commercial products, with biochemical profiles rich in high-quality protein, nutritious polyunsaturated fats (such as α-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid, and antioxidant pigments. These findings indicate that the microalgae assessed have great potential as multi-nutrient human health supplements.

  12. Is that a human? Categorization (dis)fluency drives evaluations of agents ambiguous on human-likeness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Evan W; Hofree, Galit; Sheldon, Kayla; Saygin, Ayse P; Winkielman, Piotr

    2017-04-01

    A fundamental and seemingly unbridgeable psychological boundary divides humans and nonhumans. Essentialism theories suggest that mixing these categories violates "natural kinds." Perceptual theories propose that such mixing creates incompatible cues. Most theories suggest that mixed agents, with both human and nonhuman features, obligatorily elicit discomfort. In contrast, we demonstrate top-down, cognitive control of these effects-such that the discomfort with mixed agents is partially driven by disfluent categorization of ambiguous features that are pertinent to the agent. Three experiments tested this idea. Participants classified 3 different agents (humans, androids, and robots) either on the human-likeness or control dimension and then evaluated them. Classifying on the human-likeness dimensions made the mixed agent (android) more disfluent, and in turn, more disliked. Disfluency also mediated the negative affective reaction. Critically, devaluation only resulted from disfluency on human-likeness-and not from an equally disfluent color dimension. We argue that negative consequences on evaluations of mixed agents arise from integral disfluency (on features that are relevant to the judgment at-hand, like ambiguous human-likeness). In contrast, no negative effects stem from incidental disfluency (on features that do not bear on the current judgment, like ambiguous color backgrounds). Overall, these findings support a top-down account of why, when, and how mixed agents elicit conflict and discomfort. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Improving the Output Power Stability of a High Concentration Photovoltaic System with Supercapacitors: A Preliminary Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Pei Huang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The output power of a high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV system is very sensitive to fluctuating tracking errors and weather patterns. To help compensate this shortcoming, supercapacitors have been successfully incorporated into photovoltaic systems to improve their output power stability. This study examined the output power stability improvement of an HCPV module with a supercapacitor integrated into its circuit. Furthermore, the equivalent model of the experimental circuit is presented and analyzed. Experimental results suggest that integrating a supercapacitor into an HCPV module could improve its output power stability and further extend its acceptance angle. This paper provides preliminary data of the improvement and its evaluation method, which could be utilized for further improvements to an HCPV system.

  14. Human health risk constrained naphthalene-contaminated groundwater remediation management through an improved credibility method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Lu, Hongwei; Fan, Xing; Chen, Yizhong

    2017-07-01

    In this study, a human health risk constrained groundwater remediation management program based on the improved credibility is developed for naphthalene contamination. The program integrates simulation, multivariate regression analysis, health risk assessment, uncertainty analysis, and nonlinear optimization into a general framework. The improved credibility-based optimization model for groundwater remediation management with consideration of human health risk (ICOM-HHR) is capable of not only effectively addressing parameter uncertainties and risk-exceeding possibility in human health risk but also providing a credibility level that indicates the satisfaction of the optimal groundwater remediation strategies with multiple contributions of possibility and necessity. The capabilities and effectiveness of ICOM-HHR are illustrated through a real-world case study in Anhui Province, China. Results indicate that the ICOM-HHR would generate double remediation cost yet reduce approximately 10 times of the naphthalene concentrations at monitoring wells, i.e., mostly less than 1 μg/L, which implies that the ICOM-HHR usually results in better environmental and health risk benefits. And it is acceptable to obtain a better environmental quality and a lower health risk level with sacrificing a certain economic benefit.

  15. Detecting and evaluating communities in complex human and biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Greg; Mahadevan, L.

    2012-02-01

    We develop a simple method for detecting the community structure in a network can by utilizing a measure of closeness between nodes. This approach readily leads to a method of coarse graining the network, which allows the detection of the natural hierarchy (or hierarchies) of community structure without appealing to an unknown resolution parameter. The closeness measure can also be used to evaluate the robustness of an individual node's assignment to its community (rather than evaluating only the quality of the global structure). Each of these methods in community detection and evaluation are illustrated using a variety of real world networks of either biological or sociological importance and illustrate the power and flexibility of the approach.

  16. Innovation and evaluation. Proposals for improving cross-project training university students in Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Romero Muñoz

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This article reflects the results of the evaluation in the educational innovation project called "City of Rainbows", that has been developed at the University of Huelva since the academic year 2002/03.The experience, aims, tools and the process of evaluation followed are briefly described in it, focusing especially on evaluation an proposals for improvement which the various participants (faculty lecturer, students of Education, and actual teachers make on the impact of this innovation project to train the students of the Faculty of Education

  17. Access to Archived Astronaut Data for Human Research Program Researchers: Update on Progress and Process Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, L. R.; Montague, K. A.; Charvat, J. M.; Wear, M. L.; Thomas, D. M.; Van Baalen, M.

    2016-01-01

    Since the 2010 NASA directive to make the Life Sciences Data Archive (LSDA) and Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) data archives more accessible by the research and operational communities, demand for astronaut medical data has increased greatly. LSAH and LSDA personnel are working with Human Research Program on many fronts to improve data access and decrease lead time for release of data. Some examples include the following: Feasibility reviews for NASA Research Announcement (NRA) data mining proposals; Improved communication, support for researchers, and process improvements for retrospective Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols; Supplemental data sharing for flight investigators versus purely retrospective studies; Work with the Multilateral Human Research Panel for Exploration (MHRPE) to develop acceptable data sharing and crew consent processes and to organize inter-agency data coordinators to facilitate requests for international crewmember data. Current metrics on data requests crew consenting will be presented, along with limitations on contacting crew to obtain consent. Categories of medical monitoring data available for request will be presented as well as flow diagrams detailing data request processing and approval steps.

  18. The Role of Checklists and Human Factors for Improved Patient Safety in Plastic Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppikofer, Claude; Schwappach, David

    2017-12-01

    After studying the article, participants should be able to: 1. Describe the role of human factors and nontechnical skills for patient safety and recognize the need for customization of surgical checklists. 2. Apply encouragement to speaking up and understand the importance of patient involvement for patient safety. 3. Recognize the potential for improvement regarding patient safety in their own environment and take a leading role in the patient safety process. 4. Assess their own safety status and develop measures to avoid unnecessary distraction in the operating room. Over the past 20 years, there has been increased attention to improving all aspects of patient safety and, in particular, the important role of checklists and human factors. This article gives a condensed overview of selected aspects of patient safety and aims to raise the awareness of the reader and encourage further study of referenced literature, with the goal of increased knowledge and use of proven safety methods. The CME questions should help indicate where there is still potential for improvement in patient safety, namely, in the field of nontechnical skills.

  19. Improved characterization of medically relevant fungi in the human respiratory tract using next-generation sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittinger, Kyle; Charlson, Emily S; Loy, Elizabeth; Shirley, David J; Haas, Andrew R; Laughlin, Alice; Yi, Yanjie; Wu, Gary D; Lewis, James D; Frank, Ian; Cantu, Edward; Diamond, Joshua M; Christie, Jason D; Collman, Ronald G; Bushman, Frederic D

    2014-01-01

    Fungi are important pathogens but challenging to enumerate using next-generation sequencing because of low absolute abundance in many samples and high levels of fungal DNA from contaminating sources. Here, we analyze fungal lineages present in the human airway using an improved method for contamination filtering. We use DNA quantification data, which are routinely acquired during DNA library preparation, to annotate output sequence data, and improve the identification and filtering of contaminants. We compare fungal communities and bacterial communities from healthy subjects, HIV+ subjects, and lung transplant recipients, providing a gradient of increasing lung impairment for comparison. We use deep sequencing to characterize ribosomal rRNA gene segments from fungi and bacteria in DNA extracted from bronchiolar lavage samples and oropharyngeal wash. Comparison to clinical culture data documents improved detection after applying the filtering procedure. We find increased representation of medically relevant organisms, including Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus, in subjects with increasingly severe pulmonary and immunologic deficits. We analyze covariation of fungal and bacterial taxa, and find that oropharyngeal communities rich in Candida are also rich in mitis group Streptococci,a community pattern associated with pathogenic polymicrobial biofilms. Thus, using this approach, it is possible to characterize fungal communities in the human respiratory tract more accurately and explore their interactions with bacterial communities in health and disease.

  20. Evaluation of the diagnostic efficacy of Fasciola adult worm vomit for serodiagnosis of human fasciolosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsibaei, Mahmoud Mohamed; Ali, Nehad Mahmoud; Ibrahim, Ayman Nabil; Mohammed, Basant Osama

    2013-05-01

    The diagnostic efficacy of Fasciola gigantica adult worm vomit (AWV) preparation in diagnosis of human fasciolosis was evaluated using conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Falcon assay screening test (FAST)-ELISA in comparison with F. gigantica adult total soluble extract (TSE). Sera of fasciolosis patients, patients with other parasitic diseases (hydatid disease, schistosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, and amebiasis), and sera of healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. The results showed that the sensitivity of both conventional ELISA and FAST-ELISA was improved from 95 % using TSE to 100 % when using AWV. The specificity of conventional ELISA was 93.3 % using TSE and increased to 96.7 % using AWV. The specificity of FAST-ELISA using TSE was 96.7 % and became 100 % AWV antigen. The diagnostic accuracy of conventional ELISA was 94 % using TSE and increased to 98 % using AWV. The diagnostic accuracy of FAST-ELISA was 96 % using TSE and increased to 100 % using AWV. It is concluded that both TSE and AWV antigenic preparations are efficient for use in the serodiagnosis of human fasciolosis.

  1. Evaluation of the DNA damaging effects of amitraz on human ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amitraz is formamidine pesticide widely used as insecticide and acaricide. In veterinary medicine, amitraz has important uses against ticks, mites and lice on animals. Also, amitraz is used in apiculture to control Varroa destructor. It this study, the alkaline Comet assay was used to evaluate DNA damaging effects of amitraz ...

  2. Evaluation of the DNA damaging effects of amitraz on human ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-01-05

    Jan 5, 2013 ... residues in honey is related to the instability of amitraz in an acidic medium like honey (Berzas Nevado et al. 1990). According to EMEA (European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products) residues of amitraz in honey were stable for up to 4 months when samples were stored at –. 20°C. Amitraz ...

  3. Human action quality evaluation based on fuzzy logic with application in underground coal mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionica, Andreea; Leba, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The work system is defined by its components, their roles and the relationships between them. Any work system gravitates around the human resource and the interdependencies between human factor and the other components of it. Researches in this field agreed that the human factor and its actions are difficult to quantify and predict. The objective of this paper is to apply a method of human actions evaluation in order to estimate possible risks and prevent possible system faults, both at human factor level and at equipment level. In order to point out the importance of the human factor influence on all the elements of the working systems we propose a fuzzy logic based methodology for quality evaluation of human actions. This methodology has a multidisciplinary character, as it gathers ideas and methods from: quality management, ergonomics, work safety and artificial intelligence. The results presented refer to a work system with a high degree of specificity, namely, underground coal mining and are valuable for human resources risk evaluation pattern. The fuzzy logic evaluation of the human actions leads to early detection of possible dangerous evolutions of the work system and alarm the persons in charge.

  4. Training and Performance Improvement Professionals' Perspectives on Ethical Challenges during Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chyung, Seung Youn; Winiecki, Donald J.; Downing, Jessica L.

    2010-01-01

    Ethical concerns are rising in the business world. With this in mind, training and performance improvement practitioners, especially during evaluation projects, should be aware of principles and codes of ethics, and their behaviors and decisions should reflect the standards recognized by members of the professional society. A study was conducted…

  5. Evaluation of Criteria-Based Clinical Audit in Improving Quality of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erah

    ABSTRACT. Study evaluated criteria–based clinical audit in measuring and improving quality of obstetric care for five life-threatening obstetric complications: obstetric haemorrhage, eclampsia, genital tract infections, obstructed labor and uterine rupture. Clinical management of 65 patients was audited using a 'before.

  6. Accelerated Math and Science Program Improvement Project Evaluation Report YR2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa, Alberto M.

    The Accelerated Math and Science (AMS) Project is a 3 year program funded by the California Migrant Education Program Improvement Program. It targets 6th, 7th, and 8th grade low-achieving migrant students who are 2 to 4 years behind their language peer group. Two questions guided the second year evaluation study for the Region IX Migrant Education…

  7. Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Needs to Improve Demilitarization Program Self-Assessment Evaluations - Redacted

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-20

    Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Needs to Improve Demilitarization Program Self ‑Assessment Evaluations Management Comments and Our...and control of the Compliance Assessment Management System (CAMS);9 • provide and coordinate protocols and instructions to the CDDs to complete self ...assessments; • notify DLA Disposition Services management of self -assessments results, repeat findings, suggested corrective actions, best practices

  8. Improving Vision Awareness in Autism Services: Evaluation of a Dedicated Education Programme for Support Practitioners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Joseph J.; Butchart, Maggie; Brown, Michael; Bain, Janice; McMillan, Anne; Karatzias, Thanos

    2018-01-01

    Background: The research reported here sought to evaluate whether a dedicated education programme in vision awareness improved the knowledge and skills of autism support practitioners in identifying visual impairment in autistic people with intellectual disabilities and providing better support to those individuals identified as visually impaired.…

  9. Educational Seduction: Implications for the Evaluation and Improvement of Teaching. Report #7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Raymond P.

    Issues pertaining to the validity of student ratings of teacher effectiveness, research on "educational seduction," and implications of the research for the evaluation and improvement of teaching are reviewed. Criteria that have been used to validate student ratings include student achievement, faculty ratings, self-ratings, research productivity,…

  10. 38 CFR 21.140 - Evaluation and improvement of rehabilitation potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... improvement of rehabilitation potential. 21.140 Section 21.140 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Special Rehabilitation Services § 21.140 Evaluation and...

  11. Improving palliative care in selected settings in England using quality indicators: a realist evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iliffe, S.; Davies, N.; Manthorpe, J.; Crome, P.; Ahmedzai, S.H.; Vernooij-Dassen, M.; Engels, Y.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: There is a gap between readily available evidence of best practice and its use in everyday palliative care. The IMPACT study evaluated the potential of facilitated use of Quality Indicators as tools to improve palliative care in different settings in England. METHODS: 1) Modelling

  12. Improving Schools through Evaluation: The Experience of Catholic Schools in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potterton, Mark; Northmore, Colin

    2014-01-01

    This article addresses the development of quality assurance approaches in South Africa, with particular reference to Catholic schools. It also addresses questions of why whole school evaluation in general has failed to play any meaningful role in improving the quality of schools in South Africa. Reference is also made to specific school cases. The…

  13. Improved MOX fuel calculations using new Pu-239, Am-241 and Pu-240 evaluations

    OpenAIRE

    Schillebeeckx P.; Leal L.; De Saint Jean C.; Vidal J.F.; Peneliau Y.; Blaise P.; Leconte P.; Bernard D.; Bouland O.; Noguere G.; Kopecky S.; Lampoudis C.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies based on the JEFF-3.1.1 nuclear data library show a systematic overestimation of the critical keff for core configurations of MOX fuel assemblies. The present work investigates possible improvements of the C/E results by using new evaluations for Am-241, Pu-239 and Pu-240.

  14. Improved MOX fuel calculations using new Pu-239, Am-241 and Pu-240 evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguere, G.; Bouland, O.; Bernard, D.; Leconte, P.; Blaise, P.; Peneliau, Y.; Vidal, J. F.; De Saint Jean, C.; Leal, L.; Schillebeeckx, P.; Kopecky, S.; Lampoudis, C.

    2013-03-01

    Several studies based on the JEFF-3.1.1 nuclear data library show a systematic overestimation of the critical keff for core configurations of MOX fuel assemblies. The present work investigates possible improvements of the C/E results by using new evaluations for Am-241, Pu-239 and Pu-240.

  15. Improved MOX fuel calculations using new Pu-239, Am-241 and Pu-240 evaluations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schillebeeckx P.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Several studies based on the JEFF-3.1.1 nuclear data library show a systematic overestimation of the critical keff for core configurations of MOX fuel assemblies. The present work investigates possible improvements of the C/E results by using new evaluations for Am-241, Pu-239 and Pu-240.

  16. Online Student Evaluation Improves Course Experience Questionnaire Results in a Physiotherapy Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Beatrice; Jones, Sue; Straker, Leon

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports the use of an online student evaluation system, Course Experience on the Web (CEW), in a physiotherapy program to improve their Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) results. CEW comprises a course survey instrument modeled on the CEQ and a tailored unit survey instrument. Closure of the feedback loop is integral in the CEW…

  17. Improving Attitudes toward Elderly People: Evaluation of an Intervention Program for Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooley, Stephen; Frankel, B. Gail

    1990-01-01

    In an experimental evaluation of a "friendly visitor" type of program in which adolescents visited senior citizens, it was found that general attitudes toward elderly people improved following weekly contact with specific elderly persons. Two outcomes of these programs were found: the provision of service to the elderly and the change of negative…

  18. Improving the quality of education through self-evaluation in Dutch secondary schools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Bij, T.; Geijsel, F.P.; ten Dam, G.T.M.

    In countries with a governance structure in which responsibility for the quality of education is shared between government and school boards, the past decades school self-evaluation has been stimulated as a way to encourage continuous quality improvement. However, working on the goals of quality

  19. Evaluating the effectiveness of improved workmanship quality on the airtightness of Dutch detached houses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colijn, M.; Entrop, A. G.; Toxopeus, M. E.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing the airtightness of buildings can contribute in coming to energy neutral buildings. This paper evaluates two possible measures: modest technical improvements and coaching of construction teams. Beforehand, the specific leakage rate of 44 detached houses was measured using a blower door

  20. Reading Improvement Project. ECIA Chapter 1. Evaluation Report, 1982-83.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halasa, Ofelia

    The Reading Improvement Project in the Cleveland Public Schools, evaluated here, provides individualized instruction to pupils in grades 1-3 who are functioning at or below the 33rd percentile on the Stanford Diagnostic Comprehension subtest or the Metropolitan Readiness Test. The project supplements regular reading instruction by providing…

  1. Evaluating interventions to improve somatic health in severe mental illness : a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hasselt, F. M.; Krabbe, P. F. M.; van Ittersum, D. G.; Postma, M. J.; Loonen, A. J. M.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To present a systematic review of the evaluation of randomized interventions directed toward improving somatic health for patients with severe mental illness (SMI). METHOD: A systematic search in PubMed, Embase, Cinahl, and PsycInfo was performed. The scope of the search was prospective

  2. Improving the Understanding of Pathogenesis of Human Papillomavirus 16 via Mapping Protein-Protein Interaction Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongcheng Dong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16 has high risk to lead various cancers and afflictions, especially, the cervical cancer. Therefore, investigating the pathogenesis of HPV16 is very important for public health. Protein-protein interaction (PPI network between HPV16 and human was used as a measure to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. By adopting sequence and topological features, a support vector machine (SVM model was built to predict new interactions between HPV16 and human proteins. All interactions were comprehensively investigated and analyzed. The analysis indicated that HPV16 enlarged its scope of influence by interacting with human proteins as much as possible. These interactions alter a broad array of cell cycle progression. Furthermore, not only was HPV16 highly prone to interact with hub proteins and bottleneck proteins, but also it could effectively affect a breadth of signaling pathways. In addition, we found that the HPV16 evolved into high carcinogenicity on the condition that its own reproduction had been ensured. Meanwhile, this work will contribute to providing potential new targets for antiviral therapeutics and help experimental research in the future.

  3. A conceptual framework to evaluate human-wildlife interactions within coupled human and natural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita T. Morzillo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Landscape characteristics affect human-wildlife interactions. However, there is a need to better understand mechanisms that drive those interactions, particularly feedbacks that exist between wildlife-related impacts, human reaction to and behavior as a result of those impacts, and how land use and landscape characteristics may influence those components within coupled human and natural systems. Current conceptual models of human-wildlife interactions often focus on species population size as the independent variable driving those interactions. Such an approach potentially overlooks important feedbacks among and drivers of human-wildlife interactions that result from mere wildlife presence versus absence. We describe an emerging conceptual framework that focuses on wildlife as a driver of human behavior and allows us to better understand linkages between humans, wildlife, and the broader landscape. We also present results of a pilot analysis related to our own ongoing study of urban rodent control behavior to illustrate one application of this framework within a study of urban landscapes.

  4. Collagen Type I Improves the Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells towards Definitive Endoderm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Camilla Holzmann; Petersen, Dorthe Roenn; Møller, Jonas Bech

    2015-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells have the ability to generate all cell types in the body and can potentially provide an unlimited source of cells for cell replacement therapy to treat degenerative diseases such as diabetes. Current differentiation protocols of human embryonic stem cells towards insulin...... embryonic stem cells to the definitive endoderm lineage. The percentage of definitive endoderm cells after differentiation on collagen I and fibronectin was >85% and 65%, respectively. The cells on collagen I substrates displayed different morphology and gene expression during differentiation as assessed...... and consistent differentiation of stem cells to definitive endoderm. The results shed light on the importance of extracellular matrix proteins for differentiation and also points to a cost effective and easy method to improve differentiation....

  5. Calcineurin inhibitors acutely improve insulin sensitivity without affecting insulin secretion in healthy human volunteers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Øzbay, Aygen; Møller, Niels; Juhl, Claus

    2012-01-01

    of ciclosporin and tacrolimus. We document that both drugs acutely increase insulin sensitivity, while first phase and pulsatile insulin secretion remain unaffected. This study demonstrates that ciclosporin and tacrolimus have similar acute effects on glucose metabolism in healthy humans. AIM The introduction...... and tacrolimus has been attributed to both beta cell dysfunction and impaired insulin sensitivity. WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: This is the first trial to investigate beta cell function and insulin sensitivity using gold standard methodology in healthy human volunteers treated with clinically relevant doses...... of calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) ciclosporin (CsA) and tacrolimus (Tac) has improved the outcome of organ transplants, but complications such as new onset diabetes mellitus after transplantation (NODAT) cause impairment of survival rates. The relative contribution of each CNI to the pathogenesis and development...

  6. Two is better than one: Physical interactions improve motor performance in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh, G.; Takagi, A.; Osu, R.; Yoshioka, T.; Kawato, M.; Burdet, E.

    2014-01-01

    How do physical interactions with others change our own motor behavior? Utilizing a novel motor learning paradigm in which the hands of two - individuals are physically connected without their conscious awareness, we investigated how the interaction forces from a partner adapt the motor behavior in physically interacting humans. We observed the motor adaptations during physical interactions to be mutually beneficial such that both the worse and better of the interacting partners improve motor performance during and after interactive practice. We show that these benefits cannot be explained by multi-sensory integration by an individual, but require physical interaction with a reactive partner. Furthermore, the benefits are determined by both the interacting partner's performance and similarity of the partner's behavior to one's own. Our results demonstrate the fundamental neural processes underlying human physical interactions and suggest advantages of interactive paradigms for sport-training and physical rehabilitation.

  7. [Student evaluation of anesthesiological teaching: steering instrument of a continuous improvement process].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittmann, M; Boehm, O; Thiessen, N; Hoeft, A; Knuefermann, P; Baumgarten, G

    2012-07-01

    The amendment to the higher education act ("Hochschulrahmengesetz") of 1998 postulates an evaluation of teaching for quality assurance. Hence, in the winter semester of 2004 the University Medical Center of Bonn introduced a semester questionnaire for students to evaluate the quality of teaching (EVALON). This evaluation is designed to be an objective benchmarking tool which is used for the distribution of university funds. It is also a steering instrument for direct improvement of teaching in clinical subjects. The aim of this study was to investigate, whether EVALON improved the quality of teaching between 2006 and 2010 and whether the department of anesthesiology improved its ranking in comparison with the other participating institutes. Data from the EVALON questionnaire from the years 2006-2010 were analyzed for improvements in the quality of teaching in anesthesiology. This study focused on three essential contents of the EVALON questionnaire (structural content and organizational procedure of lectures and seminars, course presentation), which were used for the generation of a ranking list of all participating medical institutes and departments. On the basis of these results, 12.5% of the funding was assigned for educational purposes. There was an average return rate of the questionnaires of 74.5%. A significant increase in the overall assessment score of 43.4% could be observed from 5.3 in the summer semester of 2006 to 7.6 in the winter semester of 2009/10. The evaluation score for the department of anesthesiology concerning structural content of seminars and lectures increased by 79% from 4.8 in 2006 to 8.6 in 2010. The quality of organizational procedure was evaluated with a score of 4.9 in 2006 and improved by 74% to 8.5 in 2010. The course presentation skills of the teachers as evaluated by EVALON improved by 61% from a score of 5.2 in 2006 to 8.4 in 2010. In comparison with all other participating medical institutes the department of anesthesiology

  8. Metabolic profile and underlying improved bio-activity of Fructus aurantii immaturus by human intestinal bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xing Yan; Fan, Meng Lin; Wang, Huai You; Yu, Bo Yang; Liu, Ji Hua

    2017-06-21

    Fructus aurantii immaturus (FAI) is the dried young fruit of Citrus aurantium L. or Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck. The purpose of this paper was to investigate the metabolic fate of FAI upon incubation with human intestinal bacteria, meanwhile to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of FAI and the transformed Fructus aurantii immaturus (TFAI). The water extract of FAI was anaerobically incubated with human intestinal bacterial suspensions for 48 h at 37 °C. Liquid chromatography-hybridised with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-Q-TOF/MS) was applied to identify FAI metabolites. A total of 45 compounds were identified in FAI, eleven of which were metabolized by human intestinal bacteria. Nine major metabolites were identified as eriodictyol, naringenin, hesperetin, luteolin, apigenin, chryseriol, isosakuranetin, phloretin and diosmetin. The metabolic profile of FAI was elucidated on the basis of metabolite information. We found that the concentrations of acetic, propionic and butyric acids in FAI culture were all increased during fermentation relative to those of the control. Further bioactive evaluations showed that TFAI exhibited more potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities than FAI in vitro. Additionally, in vivo experiment confirmed that FAI significantly attenuated the blood endotoxin and TNF-α levels in the conventional rats compared to those of pseudo-germ-free (PGF) rats. This study revealed that metabolites may play a key role in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities of FAI.

  9. Improving vision awareness in autism services: Evaluation of a dedicated education programme for support practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Joseph J; Butchart, Maggie; Brown, Michael; Bain, Janice; McMillan, Anne; Karatzias, Thanos

    2017-02-20

    The research reported here sought to evaluate whether a dedicated education programme in vision awareness improved the knowledge and skills of autism support practitioners in identifying visual impairment in autistic people with intellectual disabilities and providing better support to those individuals identified as visually impaired. Researchers undertook a mixed methods evaluation. A survey questionnaire was devised and administered before and after training and focus groups were undertaken in order to gain qualitative data relating how practitioners implemented their learning in practice. Knowledge confidence and practice confidence scores of participants were significantly improved by the programme, which maintained its impact one year on. Practitioners reported increased access to optometry, changes to support practice and improvements to service environments as a result of the training. Autism support practitioners' skills in identifying and supporting people with visual impairments were demonstrably enhanced through dedicated vision training. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Implementation and evaluation of a multisite drug usage evaluation program across Australian hospitals - a quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulver, Lisa K; Wai, Angela; Maxwell, David J; Robertson, Marion B; Riddell, Steven

    2011-08-29

    With the use of medicines being a broad and extensive part of health management, mechanisms to ensure quality use of medicines are essential. Drug usage evaluation (DUE) is an evidence-based quality improvement methodology, designed to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of drug use. The purpose of this paper is to describe a national DUE methodology used to improve health care delivery across the continuum through multi-faceted intervention involving audit and feedback, academic detailing and system change, and a qualitative assessment of the methodology, as illustrated by the Acute Postoperative Pain Management (APOP) project. An established methodology, consisting of a baseline audit of inpatient medical records, structured patient interviews and general practitioner surveys, followed by an educational intervention and follow-up audit, is used. Australian hospitals, including private, public, metropolitan and regional, are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. De-identified data collected by hospitals are collated and evaluated nationally to provide descriptive comparative analyses. Hospitals benchmark their practices against state and national results to facilitate change. The educational intervention consists of academic detailing, group education, audit and feedback, point-of-prescribing prompts and system changes. A repeat data collection is undertaken to assess changes in practice.An online qualitative survey was undertaken to evaluate the APOP program. Qualitative assessment of hospitals' perceptions of the effectiveness of the overall DUE methodology and changes in procedure/prescribing/policy/clinical practice which resulted from participation were elicited. 62 hospitals participated in the APOP project. Among 23 respondents to the evaluation survey, 18 (78%) reported improvements in the documentation of pain scores at their hospital. 15 (65%) strongly agreed or agreed that participation in APOP directly resulted in increased

  11. Improvement of the method of obtaining human IgA Fc-fragments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Y. Galkin

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available To address a number of fundamental and applied problems in immunology, molecular and cellular biology and biotechnology it is necessary to obtain Fc-fragments of immunoglobulins. Fc-fragments may be used for studying of the effector functions of antibodies which are mediated by these areas. They are often used as an immunogen to produce anti-specie (based on so-called secondary antibody conjugate in the development of serological tests for diagnostics (predominantly such conjugate based on monoclonal antibodies. The work is aimed to develop improved methods of obtaining and allocation of Fc-fragments of human IgA. To achieve this objective, optimization of hydrolysis of IgA with subsequent purification of Fс-fragments have been carried out. Improved method of obtaining Fc-fragments of IgA provides: papain hydrolysis of immunoglobulin in the environment of nitrogen for 4 h, allowing to achieve maximum output of Fc-fragments without their further degradation: isolation and purification of Fc-fragments of human IgA by one-stage gel filtration on sephadex G-100; control of purity of the target product by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gel with sodium dodecyl sulfate and Ouchterlony immunodiffusion. Enzymatic hydrolysis was carried out at the optimal temperature of papain (37 °C. As the oxygen in the air may have inhibitory effect on enzymatic hydrolysis reaction, the reaction mixture was incubated in the nitrogen atmosphere to prevent inactivation of papain. To reduce the incident degradation of immunoglobulin molecules, papain hydrolysis was carried out without using an enzyme activator (cysteine. Usage of the proposed scheme allows obtaining Fc-fragments of human IgA of high purity. Outcome of Fc-fragments after all stages of purification was about 18% of the initial amount of IgA in the preparation. Molecular weight from Fc-fragments of human IgA was equal to approximately 70 kDa.

  12. Neither Cholinergic Nor Dopaminergic Enhancement Improve Spatial Working Memory Precision in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adeola N. Harewood Smith

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine and dopamine are neurotransmitters that play multiple important roles in perception and cognition. Pharmacological cholinergic enhancement reduces excitatory receptive field size of neurons in marmoset primary visual cortex and sharpens the spatial tuning of visual perception and visual cortical fMRI responses in humans. Moreover, previous studies show that manipulation of cholinergic or dopaminergic signaling alters the spatial tuning of macaque prefrontal cortical neurons during the delay period of a spatial working memory (SWM task and can improve SWM performance in macaque monkeys and human subjects. Here, we investigated the effects of systemic cholinergic and dopaminergic enhancement on the precision of SWM, as measured behaviorally in human subjects. Cholinergic transmission was increased by oral administration of 5 mg of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil, and dopaminergic signaling was enhanced with 100 mg levodopa/10 mg carbidopa. Each neurotransmitter system was separately investigated in double-blind placebo-controlled studies. On each trial of the SWM task, a square was presented for 150 ms at a random location along an invisible circle with a radius of 12 degrees of visual angle, followed by a 900 ms delay period with no stimulus shown on the screen. Then, the square was presented at new location, displaced in either a clockwise (CW or counterclockwise (CCW direction along the circle. Subjects used their memory of the location of the original square to report the direction of displacement. SWM precision was defined as the amount of displacement corresponding to 75% correct performance. We observed no significant effect on SWM precision for either donepezil or levodopa/carbidopa. There was also no significant effect on performance on the SWM task (percent correct across all trials for either donepezil or levodopa/carbidopa. Thus, despite evidence that acetylcholine and dopamine regulate spatial tuning of individual

  13. An evaluation of Dynamic TOPMODEL in natural and human-impacted catchments for low flow simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coxon, Gemma; Freer, Jim; Lane, Rosanna; Musuuza, Jude; Woods, Ross; Wagener, Thorsten; Howden, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    Models of catchment hydrology are essential tools for drought risk management, often providing input to water resource system models, aiding our understanding of low flow processes within catchments and providing low flow simulations and predictions. However, simulating low flows is challenging as hydrological systems often demonstrate threshold effects in connectivity, non-linear groundwater contributions and a greater influence of anthropogenic modifications such as surface and ground water abstractions during low flow periods. These processes are typically not well represented in commonly used hydrological models due to knowledge, data and model limitations. Hence, a better understanding of the natural and human processes that occur during low flows, how these are represented within models and how they could be improved is required to be able to provide robust and reliable predictions of future drought events. The aim of this study is to assess the skill of dynamic TOPMODEL during low flows for both natural and human-impacted catchments. Dynamic TOPMODEL was chosen for this study as it is able to explicitly characterise connectivity and fluxes across landscapes using hydrological response units (HRU's) while still maintaining flexibility in how spatially complex the model is configured and what specific functions (i.e. abstractions or groundwater stores) are represented. We apply dynamic TOPMODEL across the River Thames catchment using daily time series of observed rainfall and potential evapotranspiration data for the period 1999 - 2014, covering two major droughts in the Thames catchment. Significantly, to assess the impact of abstractions on low flows across the Thames catchment, we incorporate functions to characterise over 3,500 monthly surface water and ground water abstractions covering the simulation period into dynamic TOPMODEL. We evaluate dynamic TOPMODEL at over 90 gauging stations across the Thames catchment against multiple signatures of catchment

  14. Evaluation of the biological differences of canine and human factor VIII in gene delivery: Implications in human hemophilia treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    The canine is the most important large animal model for testing novel hemophilia A(HA) treatment. It is often necessary to use canine factor VIII (cFIII) gene or protein for the evaluation of HA treatment in the canine model. However, the different biological properties between cFVIII and human FVII...

  15. Value for money of changing healthcare services? Economic evaluation of quality improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severens, J

    2003-01-01

    

 There are many instances of perceived or real inefficiencies in health service delivery. Both healthcare providers and policy makers need to know the impact and cost of applying strategies to change the behaviour of individuals or organisations. Quality improvement or implementation research is concerned with evaluating the methods of behavioural change. Addressing inefficiencies in healthcare services raises a series of issues, beginning with how inefficiency itself should be defined. The basic concepts of cost analysis and economic evaluations are explained and a model for working through the economic issues of quality improvement is discussed. This model combines the costs and benefits of corrected inefficiency with the costs and degree of behavioural change achieved by a quality improvement method in the policy maker's locality. It shows why it may not always be cost effective for policy makers to address suboptimal behaviour. Both the interpretation of quality improvement research findings and their local application need careful consideration. The limited availability of applicable quality improvement research may make it difficult to provide robust advice on the value for money of many behavioural quality improvement strategies. PMID:14532369

  16. Shear wave velocity-based evaluation and design of stone column improved ground for liquefaction mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yanguo; Sun, Zhengbo; Chen, Jie; Chen, Yunmin; Chen, Renpeng

    2017-04-01

    The evaluation and design of stone column improvement ground for liquefaction mitigation is a challenging issue for the state of practice. In this paper, a shear wave velocity-based approach is proposed based on the well-defined correlations of liquefaction resistance (CRR)-shear wave velocity ( V s)-void ratio ( e) of sandy soils, and the values of parameters in this approach are recommended for preliminary design purpose when site specific values are not available. The detailed procedures of pre- and post-improvement liquefaction evaluations and stone column design are given. According to this approach, the required level of ground improvement will be met once the target V s of soil is raised high enough (i.e., no less than the critical velocity) to resist the given earthquake loading according to the CRR- V s relationship, and then this requirement is transferred to the control of target void ratio (i.e., the critical e) according to the V s- e relationship. As this approach relies on the densification of the surrounding soil instead of the whole improved ground and is conservative by nature, specific considerations of the densification mechanism and effect are given, and the effects of drainage and reinforcement of stone columns are also discussed. A case study of a thermal power plant in Indonesia is introduced, where the effectiveness of stone column improved ground was evaluated by the proposed V s-based method and compared with the SPT-based evaluation. This improved ground performed well and experienced no liquefaction during subsequent strong earthquakes.

  17. Human Factors Analysis to Improve the Processing of Ares-1 Launch Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stambolian, Damon B.; Dippolito, Gregory M.; Nyugen, Bao; Dischinger, Charles; Tran, Donald; Henderson, Gena; Barth, Tim

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Human Factors analysis in improving the ground processing procedures for the Ares-1 launch vehicle. The light vehicle engineering designers for Ares-l launch vehicle had to design the flight vehicle for effective, efficient and safe ground operations in the cramped dimensions in a rocket design. The use of a mockup of the area where the technician would be required to work proved to be a very effective method to promote the collaboration between the Ares-1 designers and the ground operations personnel.

  18. The development of transgenic crops to improve human health by advanced utilization of seed storage proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Nobuyuki; Mikami, Bunzo; Utsumi, Shigeru

    2011-01-01

    Seed storage proteins are a major component of mature seeds. They are utilized as protein sources in foods. We designed seed storage proteins containing bioactive peptides based on their three-dimensional structures. Furthermore, to create crops with enhanced food qualities, we developed transgenic crops producing seed storage proteins with bioactive peptides. This strategy promises to prevent lifestyle-related diseases by simple daily food consumption. In this review, we discuss a strategy to develop transgenic crops to improve human health by advanced utilization of seed storage proteins.

  19. Improved detection of cutaneous human papillomavirus DNA by single tube nested 'hanging droplet' PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forslund, Ola; Ly, Hoang; Higgins, Geoff

    2003-06-30

    A single tube nested 'hanging droplet' PCR was developed for detection of cutaneous human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA of the phylogenetic group B1. The nested PCR was compared with a single round PCR method by testing 56 fresh biopsies from Australian skin tumour patients. HPV DNA was detected in 64% (36/56) of the biopsies by nested PCR and in 30% (17/56) by single round PCR (Pspectrum of HPV types from skin tumours, but further improvements are needed before all HPV infections in skin can be detected by a single assay.

  20. Flavanol-rich cocoa consumption enhances exercise-induced executive function improvements in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukamoto, Hayato; Suga, Tadashi; Ishibashi, Aya; Takenaka, Saki; Tanaka, Daichi; Hirano, Yoshitaka; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Goto, Kazushige; Ebi, Kumiko; Isaka, Tadao; Hashimoto, Takeshi

    2018-02-01

    Aerobic exercise is known to acutely improve cognitive functions, such as executive function (EF) and memory function (MF). Additionally, consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa has been reported to acutely improve cognitive function. The aim of this study was to determine whether high cocoa flavanol (CF; HCF) consumption would enhance exercise-induced improvement in cognitive function. To test this hypothesis, we examined the combined effects of HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise on EF and MF during postexercise recovery. Ten healthy young men received either an HCF (563 mg of CF) or energy-matched low CF (LCF; 38 mg of CF) beverage 70 min before exercise in a single-blind counterbalanced manner. The men then performed moderate-intensity cycling exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake for 30 min. The participants performed a color-word Stroop task and face-name matching task to evaluate EF and MF, respectively, during six time periods throughout the experimental session. EF significantly improved immediately after exercise compared with before exercise in both conditions. However, EF was higher after HCF consumption than after LCF consumption during all time periods because HCF consumption improved EF before exercise. In contrast, HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise did not improve MF throughout the experiment. The present findings demonstrated that HCF consumption before moderate-intensity exercise could enhance exercise-induced improvement in EF, but not in MF. Therefore, we suggest that the combination of HCF consumption and aerobic exercise may be beneficial for improving EF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Management and Evaluation System on Human Error, Licence Requirements, and Job-aptitude in Rail and the Other Industries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koo, In Soo; Suh, S. M.; Park, G. O. (and others)

    2006-07-15

    Rail system is a system that is very closely related to the public life. When an accident happens, the public using this system should be injured or even be killed. The accident that recently took place in Taegu subway system, because of the inappropriate human-side task performance, showed demonstratively how its results could turn out to be tragic one. Many studies have shown that the most cases of the accidents have occurred because of performing his/her tasks in inappropriate way. It is generally recognised that the rail system without human element could never be happened quite long time. So human element in rail system is going to be the major factor to the next tragic accident. This state of the art report studied the cases of the managements and evaluation systems related to human errors, license requirements, and job aptitudes in the areas of rail and the other industries for the purpose of improvement of the task performance of personnel which consists of an element and finally enhancement of rail safety. The human errors, license requirements, and evaluation system of the job aptitude on people engaged in agencies with close relation to rail do much for development and preservation their abilities. But due to various inside and outside factors, to some extent it may have limitations to timely reflect overall trends of society, technology, and a sense of value. Removal and control of the factors of human errors will have epochal roles in safety of the rail system through the case studies of this report. Analytical results on case studies of this report will be used in the project 'Development of Management Criteria on Human Error and Evaluation Criteria on Job-aptitude of Rail Safe-operation Personnel' which has been carried out as a part of 'Integrated R and D Program for Railway Safety'.

  2. Histologic evaluation of new attachment in humans. A preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, G M; Granet, M; Stevens, M; Emerson, J; Corio, R; Mellonig, J; Lewis, S B; Peltzman, B; Romberg, E; Risom, L

    1985-07-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the potential for regeneration of a new attachment (alveolar bone, cementum and a functional periodontal ligament) in patients whose attachment apparatus had been destroyed by periodontal disease. In each of the three parts of the investigation, the most apical level of calculus on the root served as a histologic reference point to measure regeneration. In Part I, attempts were made to initiate the formation of a new attachment by surgical debridement, crown removal (coronectomy) and submersion of the vital root below the mucosa. Nonsubmerged, surgically debrided defects served as controls. In Part II, debrided intrabony defects were treated with and without demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft and the associated vital roots were submerged. Part III evaluated potential for regeneration of a new attachment in nonsubmerged roots with and without the use of demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft. Gingival grafts were placed over the experimental and control sites in an attempt to retard epithelial migration. Biopsies were obtained in 6 months and regeneration was evaluated histometrically. Preliminary results in 7 patients and 24 intrabony defects indicate that new attachment is possible on pathologically exposed root surfaces in a submerged environment with and without the incorporation of demineralized freeze-dried bone allografts. New attachment was observed on pathologically exposed root surfaces in a nonsubmerged environment when intrabony defects were grafted with demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft. New attachment was not observed on nongrafted, nonsubmerged, defects with and without the placement of gingival grafts over the defects.

  3. Improving Language Models in Speech-Based Human-Machine Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel Justo

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This work focuses on speech-based human-machine interaction. Specifically, a Spoken Dialogue System (SDS that could be integrated into a robot is considered. Since Automatic Speech Recognition is one of the most sensitive tasks that must be confronted in such systems, the goal of this work is to improve the results obtained by this specific module. In order to do so, a hierarchical Language Model (LM is considered. Different series of experiments were carried out using the proposed models over different corpora and tasks. The results obtained show that these models provide greater accuracy in the recognition task. Additionally, the influence of the Acoustic Modelling (AM in the improvement percentage of the Language Models has also been explored. Finally the use of hierarchical Language Models in a language understanding task has been successfully employed, as shown in an additional series of experiments.

  4. Dimeric ligands for GPCRs involved in human reproduction : synthesis and biological evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonger, Kimberly Michelle

    2008-01-01

    Dimeric ligands for G-protein coupled receptors that are involved in human reproduction, namely the gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor, the luteinizing hormone receptor and the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor, were synthesized and biologically evaluated.

  5. Drug and Vaccine Evaluation in the Human Aotus Plasmodium Falciparum Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Obaldia

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to present data on the evaluation of drugs and vaccines in the human malaria/Aotus lemurinus lemurinus monkey model experimentally infected with Plasmodium falciparum or vivax...

  6. Evaluation and treatment of patients with human bite marks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, M H; Roenigk, H H; Smith, E S; Pierce, L J

    1989-06-01

    Physicians and other health care workers who care for patients who have sustained human bite marks need a working protocol to ensure that these patients receive proper care. This protocol involves taking a thorough history and performing a physical examination, approximately determining the bite mark age, and administering proper therapy. The history will help to determine whether a criminal act has been committed and which agencies need to be notified. The American Board of Forensic Odontology published criteria for bite mark analysis in 1984 that included a description of the bite mark including its size, shape, and color, along with techniques for collection of evidence from both the victim and suspect. To determine bite mark age, tissue response to injury (inflammation, granulation tissue formation, and matrix formation and remodeling) is reviewed. Finally, the bacteria that are found in these wounds and the proper use of antimicrobial agents are expanded upon.

  7. Evaluation and Management of Human Errors in Critical Processes of Hospital Using the Extended CREAM Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iraj Mohammadfam

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Medical errors result in serious and often-preventable problems for patients. Human errors can be used as an opportunity for learning as well as a key factor for patients’ safety improvement and quality of patients' surveillance in hospitals. The aim of the present study was to identify and evaluate human errors to help reduce risks among personnel who render health services during critical hospital processes. This cross-sectional study was done in the Besat hospital in Hamedan in 2016. At first, the critical processes were selected via given scores in Delphi method and by multiplying the scores of each of the five criteria including the severity of the consequences caused by error incidence, probability of error, capability of the error detection, task repeatability and type of hospital ward with each other. Determining the risk numbers of each process, three ones were chosen with the largest scores. At the end, the selected processes were analyzed by the method of extended CREAM. The results showed that the highest CFP is associated with the CPR process, particularly in the sub-stage of command of starting CPR by anesthesiologists (0.0891, the one in the giving medicine process is in the sub-stage of calculating of medicine dozes and determining prescription methods (0.0796 and also the one in the tracheal intubation process is in the sub-stages of pulmonary and respiratory monitoring of patients and observing the vocal cords and larynx of patients (0.0350. Regarding the critical consequences of human errors in the selected processes, reviewing the qualities of roles and responsibilities of each of the medical group members and providing specialized introduction for hospital processes seem necessary.

  8. Biological evaluation of recombinant human erythropoietin in pharmaceutical products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramos A.S.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The potencies of mammalian cell-derived recombinant human erythropoietin pharmaceutical preparations, from a total of five manufacturers, were assessed by in vivo bioassay using standardized protocols. Eight-week-old normocythemic mice received a single subcutaneous injection followed by blood sampling 96 h later or multiple daily injections with blood sampling 24 h after the last injection. Reticulocyte counting by microscopic examination was employed as the end-point using the brilliant cresyl blue or selective hemolysis methods, together with automated flow cytometry. Different injection schedules were investigated and dose-response curves for the European Pharmacopoeia Biological Reference Preparation of erythropoietin were compared. Manual and automated methods of reticulocyte counting were correlated with respect to assay validity and precision. Using 8 mice per treatment group, intra-assay precision determined for all of the assays in the study showed coefficients of variation of 12.1-28.4% for the brilliant cresyl blue method, 14.1-30.8% for the selective hemolysis method and 8.5-19.7% for the flow cytometry method. Applying the single injection protocol, a combination of at least two independent assays was required to achieve the precision potency and confidence limits indicated by the manufacturers, while the multiple daily injection protocol yielded the same acceptable results within a single assay. Although the latter protocol using flow cytometry for reticulocyte counting gave more precise and reproducible results (intra-assay coefficients of variation: 5.9-14.2%, the well-characterized manual methods provide equally valid alternatives for the quality control of recombinant human erythropoietin therapeutic products.

  9. Histopathological evaluation of bone regeneration using human resorbable demineralized membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatić Zoran

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. Filling a bone defect with bone substitution materials is a therapy of choice, but the infiltration of connective tissue from the mucoperiostal flap may compromise a healing of bone substitutions with bony wall defects. Application of membrane as a barrier is indicated as a solution to this problem. The aim of this study was to show a pathohistological view of bone regeneration and the significance of human resorbable demineralized membrane (HRDM, 200 μ thick in bone regeneration regarding mandibular defects in an experiment on dogs. Methods. The experiment was performed on six dogs. Bone defects were created in all six dogs on the right side of the mandible after the elevation of the mucoperiostal flap. One defect was filled with human deproteinised bone (HDB, and in between HDB and soft tissue RHDM of 200 μ thick was placed. In the second defect, used as a control one, only HDB without RHDM was placed. Two dogs were sacrificed two months after the surgery, another two dogs four months after the surgery and the last two dogs six months after the surgery. After that, samples of bone tissue were taken for histopathological analysis. Results. In all the six dogs with defects treated with HDB and RHDM the level of bone regeneration was much higher in comparison with the control defects without RHDM. Conclusion. Membrane, as a cover of bony defect, is useful and benefits bone regeneration. Bony defects covered with RHDM show better bony healing despite the fact that bone regeneration was not fully complete for as long as six months after the RHDM implantation.

  10. Evaluation of an improved algorithm for producing realistic 3D breast software phantoms: Application for mammography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bliznakova, K.; Suryanarayanan, S.; Karellas, A.; Pallikarakis, N. [Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, University of Patras, 26500 Rio-Patras (Greece); Department of Radiology and Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322 (United States); Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, University of Patras, 26500 Rio-Patras (Greece)

    2010-11-15

    Purpose: This work presents an improved algorithm for the generation of 3D breast software phantoms and its evaluation for mammography. Methods: The improved methodology has evolved from a previously presented 3D noncompressed breast modeling method used for the creation of breast models of different size, shape, and composition. The breast phantom is composed of breast surface, duct system and terminal ductal lobular units, Cooper's ligaments, lymphatic and blood vessel systems, pectoral muscle, skin, 3D mammographic background texture, and breast abnormalities. The key improvement is the development of a new algorithm for 3D mammographic texture generation. Simulated images of the enhanced 3D breast model without lesions were produced by simulating mammographic image acquisition and were evaluated subjectively and quantitatively. For evaluation purposes, a database with regions of interest taken from simulated and real mammograms was created. Four experienced radiologists participated in a visual subjective evaluation trial, as they judged the quality of the simulated mammograms, using the new algorithm compared to mammograms, obtained with the old modeling approach. In addition, extensive quantitative evaluation included power spectral analysis and calculation of fractal dimension, skewness, and kurtosis of simulated and real mammograms from the database. Results: The results from the subjective evaluation strongly suggest that the new methodology for mammographic breast texture creates improved breast models compared to the old approach. Calculated parameters on simulated images such as {beta} exponent deducted from the power law spectral analysis and fractal dimension are similar to those calculated on real mammograms. The results for the kurtosis and skewness are also in good coincidence with those calculated from clinical images. Comparison with similar calculations published in the literature showed good agreement in the majority of cases. Conclusions

  11. Measurement Evaluation of EMF Effect by Mobile Phone on Human Head Phantom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Psenakova

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Interaction of electromagnetic field (EMF with environment and with tissue of human beings is still under discussion and many research teams are investigating it. One of electromagnetic devices is mobile phone. There are many simulations and measurements on models or phantoms of human body to biological effect of EMF acquirement. This paper deals with laboratory measurement evaluation of EMF effect by mobile phone on human head phantom.

  12. 75 FR 76995 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-10

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human... biological targets for assays for the Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century (``Tox21'') high throughput...://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov . Dated: December 2, 2010. John R. Bucher, Associate Director, National Toxicology...

  13. 75 FR 2545 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-15

    ...: Background Soy infant formula is fed to infants as a supplement or replacement for human milk or cow milk... Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR); Availability of the Final Expert Panel Report on Soy... request for comment. SUMMARY: CERHR announces the availability of the final expert panel report on soy...

  14. Can we do better? Economic analysis of human resource investment to improve home care service for the elderly in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihic MM

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Marko M Mihic, Marija Lj Todorovic, Vladimir Lj Obradovic, Zorica M Mitrovic Department for Management and Specialised Management Disciplines, Faculty of Organisational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia Background: Social services aimed at the elderly are facing great challenges caused by progressive aging of the global population but also by the constant pressure to spend funds in a rational manner.Purpose: This paper focuses on analyzing the investments into human resources aimed at enhancing home care for the elderly since many countries have recorded progress in the area over the past years. The goal of this paper is to stress the significance of performing an economic analysis of the investment.Methods: This paper combines statistical analysis methods such as correlation and regression analysis, methods of economic analysis, and scenario method.Results: The economic analysis of investing in human resources for home care service in Serbia showed that the both scenarios of investing in either additional home care hours or more beneficiaries are cost-efficient. However, the optimal solution with the positive (and the highest value of economic net present value criterion is to invest in human resources to boost the number of home care hours from 6 to 8 hours per week and increase the number of the beneficiaries to 33%.Conclusion: This paper shows how the statistical and economic analysis results can be used to evaluate different scenarios and enable quality decision-making based on exact data in order to improve health and quality of life of the elderly and spend funds in a rational manner. Keywords: home care, social investment, human resources, economic analysis, elderly

  15. Human factors evaluations of Free Flight Issues solved and issues remaining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruigrok, Rob C J; Hoekstra, Jacco M

    2007-07-01

    The Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) has conducted extensive human-in-the-loop simulation experiments in NLR's Research Flight Simulator (RFS), focussed on human factors evaluation of Free Flight. Eight years of research, in co-operation with partners in the United States and Europe, has shown that Free Flight has the potential to increase airspace capacity by at least a factor of 3. Expected traffic loads and conflict rates for the year 2020 appear to be no major problem for professional airline crews participating in flight simulation experiments. Flight efficiency is significantly improved by user-preferred routings, including cruise climbs, while pilot workload is only slightly increased compared to today's reference. Detailed results from three projects and six human-in-the-loop experiments in NLR's Research Flight Simulator are reported. The main focus of these results is on human factors issues and particularly workload, measured both subjectively and objectively. An extensive discussion is included on many human factors issues resolved during the experiments, but also open issues are identified. An intent-based Conflict Detection and Resolution (CD&R) system provides "benefits" in terms of reduced pilot workload, but also "costs" in terms of complexity, need for priority rules, potential compatibility problems between different brands of Flight Management Systems and large bandwidth. Moreover, the intent-based system is not effective at solving multi-aircraft conflicts. A state-based CD&R system also provides "benefits" and "costs". Benefits compared to the full intent-based system are simplicity, low bandwidth requirements, easy to retrofit (no requirements to change avionics infrastructure) and the ability to solve multi-aircraft conflicts in parallel. The "costs" involve a somewhat higher pilot workload in similar circumstances, the smaller look-ahead time which results in less efficient resolution manoeuvres and the sometimes false

  16. Improving handoff communication from hospital to home: the development, implementation and evaluation of a personalized patient discharge letter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buurman, Bianca M.; Verhaegh, Kim J.; Smeulers, Marian; Vermeulen, Hester; Geerlings, Suzanne E.; Smorenburg, Susanne; de Rooij, Sophia E.

    2016-01-01

    To develop, implement and evaluate a personalized patient discharge letter (PPDL) to improve the quality of handoff communication from hospital to home. From the end of 2006-09 we conducted a quality improvement project; consisting of a before-after evaluation design, and a process evaluation. Four

  17. Improved Collaborative Representation Classifier Based on l2-Regularized for Human Action Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirui Huo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Human action recognition is an important recent challenging task. Projecting depth images onto three depth motion maps (DMMs and extracting deep convolutional neural network (DCNN features are discriminant descriptor features to characterize the spatiotemporal information of a specific action from a sequence of depth images. In this paper, a unified improved collaborative representation framework is proposed in which the probability that a test sample belongs to the collaborative subspace of all classes can be well defined and calculated. The improved collaborative representation classifier (ICRC based on l2-regularized for human action recognition is presented to maximize the likelihood that a test sample belongs to each class, then theoretical investigation into ICRC shows that it obtains a final classification by computing the likelihood for each class. Coupled with the DMMs and DCNN features, experiments on depth image-based action recognition, including MSRAction3D and MSRGesture3D datasets, demonstrate that the proposed approach successfully using a distance-based representation classifier achieves superior performance over the state-of-the-art methods, including SRC, CRC, and SVM.

  18. Impact of a quality improvement program on primary healthcare in Canada: a mixed-method evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Stewart B; Green, Michael E; Brown, Judith Belle; Roberts, Sharon; Russell, Grant; Fournie, Meghan; Webster-Bogaert, Susan; Paquette-Warren, Jann; Kotecha, Jyoti; Han, Han; Thind, Amardeep; Stewart, Moira; Reichert, Sonja; Tompkins, Jordan W; Birtwhistle, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Rigorous comprehensive evaluations of primary healthcare (PHC) quality improvement (QI) initiatives are lacking. This article describes the evaluation of the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership Learning Collaborative (QIIP-LC), an Ontario-wide PHC QI program targeting type 2 diabetes management, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, access to care, and team functioning. This article highlights the primary outcome results of an external retrospective, multi-measure, mixed-method evaluation of the QIIP-LC, including: (1) matched-control pre-post chart audit of diabetes management (A1c/foot exams) and rate of CRC screening; (2) post-only advanced access survey (third-next available appointment); and (3) post-only semi-structured interviews (team functioning). Chart audit data was collected from 34 consenting physicians per group (of which 88% provided access data). Between-group differences were not statistically significant (A1c [p=0.10]; foot exams [p=0.45]; CRC screening [p=0.77]; advanced access [p=0.22]). Qualitative interview (n=42) themes highlighted the success of the program in helping build interdisciplinary team functioning and capacity. The rigorous design and methodology of the QIIP-LC evaluation utilizing a control group is one of the most significant efforts thus far to demonstrate the impact of a QI program in PHC, with improvements over time in both QIIP and control groups offering a likely explanation for the lack of statistically significant primary outcomes. Team functioning was a key success, with team-based chronic care highlighted as pivotal for improved health outcomes. Policy makers should strive to endorse QI programs with proven success through rigorous evaluation to ensure evidence-based healthcare policy and funding. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluating educational initiatives to improve palliative care for people with dementia: a narrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Mareeni; Warner, Alex; Davies, Nathan; Baishnab, Elora; Manthorpe, Jill; Iliffe, Steve

    2014-05-01

    Dementia accounts for one in three deaths among people aged 65 and over, but end-of-life care for people with dementia is often sub-optimal. Palliative care for people with dementia poses particular challenges to those providing services, and current policy initiatives recommend education and training in palliative care for those working with patients with dementia. However, there are few evaluations of the effectiveness of dementia education and training. This paper presents a narrative review undertaken in 2011-2012 of evaluations of palliative care education for those working with people with dementia at the end of life. A total of eight papers were identified that described and evaluated such palliative care education; none reported benefits for people with dementia. There is a clear need to develop and evaluate educational interventions designed to improve palliative and end-of-life care for people with dementia. Some suggestions for educationally sound approaches are discussed.

  20. Australian mental health consumers contributions to the evaluation and improvement of recovery-oriented service provision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshal, Sarah L; Oades, Lindsay G; Growe, Trevor P

    2010-01-01

    One key component of recovery-oriented mental health services, typically overlooked, involves genuine collaboration between researchers and consumers to evaluate and improve services delivered within a recovery framework. Eighteen mental health consumers working with staff who had received training in the Collaborative Recovery Model (CRM) took part in in-depth focus group meetings, of approximately 2.5 hours each, to generate feedback to guide improvement of the CRM and its use in mental health services. Consumers identified clear avenues for improvement for the CRM both specific to the model and broadly applicable to recovery-oriented service provision. Findings suggest consumers want to be more engaged and empowered in the use of the CRM from the outset. Improved sampling procedures may have led to the identification of additional dissatisfied consumers. Collaboration with mental health consumers in the evaluation and improvement of recovery-oriented practice is crucial with an emphasis on rebuilding mental health services that are genuinely oriented to support recovery.

  1. Locus Reference Genomic sequences: An improved basis for describing human DNA variants

    KAUST Repository

    Dalgleish, Raymond

    2010-04-15

    As our knowledge of the complexity of gene architecture grows, and we increase our understanding of the subtleties of gene expression, the process of accurately describing disease-causing gene variants has become increasingly problematic. In part, this is due to current reference DNA sequence formats that do not fully meet present needs. Here we present the Locus Reference Genomic (LRG) sequence format, which has been designed for the specifi c purpose of gene variant reporting. The format builds on the successful National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) RefSeqGene project and provides a single-fi le record containing a uniquely stable reference DNA sequence along with all relevant transcript and protein sequences essential to the description of gene variants. In principle, LRGs can be created for any organism, not just human. In addition, we recognize the need to respect legacy numbering systems for exons and amino acids and the LRG format takes account of these. We hope that widespread adoption of LRGs - which will be created and maintained by the NCBI and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) - along with consistent use of the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS)- approved variant nomenclature will reduce errors in the reporting of variants in the literature and improve communication about variants aff ecting human health. Further information can be found on the LRG web site (http://www.lrg-sequence.org). 2010 Dalgleish et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  2. An improved high-throughput lipid extraction method for the analysis of human brain lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Sarah K; Jenner, Andrew M; Mitchell, Todd W; Brown, Simon H J; Halliday, Glenda M; Garner, Brett

    2013-03-01

    We have developed a protocol suitable for high-throughput lipidomic analysis of human brain samples. The traditional Folch extraction (using chloroform and glass-glass homogenization) was compared to a high-throughput method combining methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE) extraction with mechanical homogenization utilizing ceramic beads. This high-throughput method significantly reduced sample handling time and increased efficiency compared to glass-glass homogenizing. Furthermore, replacing chloroform with MTBE is safer (less carcinogenic/toxic), with lipids dissolving in the upper phase, allowing for easier pipetting and the potential for automation (i.e., robotics). Both methods were applied to the analysis of human occipital cortex. Lipid species (including ceramides, sphingomyelins, choline glycerophospholipids, ethanolamine glycerophospholipids and phosphatidylserines) were analyzed via electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and sterol species were analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. No differences in lipid species composition were evident when the lipid extraction protocols were compared, indicating that MTBE extraction with mechanical bead homogenization provides an improved method for the lipidomic profiling of human brain tissue.

  3. Human factors evaluation of teletherapy: Function and task analysis. Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaye, R.D.; Henriksen, K.; Jones, R. [Hughes Training, Inc., Falls Church, VA (United States); Morisseau, D.S.; Serig, D.I. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Systems Technology

    1995-07-01

    As a treatment methodology, teletherapy selectively destroys cancerous and other tissue by exposure to an external beam of ionizing radiation. Sources of radiation are either a radioactive isotope, typically Cobalt-60 (Co-60), or a linear accelerator. Records maintained by the NRC have identified instances of teletherapy misadministration where the delivered radiation dose has differed from the radiation prescription (e.g., instances where fractions were delivered to the wrong patient, to the wrong body part, or were too great or too little with respect to the defined treatment volume). Both human error and machine malfunction have led to misadministrations. Effective and safe treatment requires a concern for precision and consistency of human-human and human-machine interactions throughout the course of therapy. The present study is the first part of a series of human factors evaluations for identifying the root causes that lead to human error in the teletherapy environment. The human factors evaluations included: (1) a function and task analysis of teletherapy activities, (2) an evaluation of the human-system interfaces, (3) an evaluation of procedures used by teletherapy staff, (4) an evaluation of the training and qualifications of treatment staff (excluding the oncologists), (5) an evaluation of organizational practices and policies, and (6) an identification of problems and alternative approaches for NRC and industry attention. The present report addresses the function and task analysis of teletherapy activities and provides the foundation for the conduct of the subsequent evaluations. The report includes sections on background, methodology, a description of the function and task analysis, and use of the task analysis findings for the subsequent tasks. The function and task analysis data base also is included.

  4. Improving eating disorders mental health literacy: a preliminary evaluation of the "Should I say something?" workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratwick-Sarll, Kassandra; Bentley, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    A repeated measures, uncontrolled, preliminary evaluation of a single 3-hour workshop-"Should I Say Something?"-aimed at improving eating disorders mental health literacy, was conducted in a sample of 177 university undergraduates. Following participation in the workshop, significant increases in eating disorder recognition and knowledge, and significant decreases in stigmatizing attitudes, were reported by participants. Moreover, 85% of participants reported that they provided assistance to someone whom they suspected had a mental health condition, including an eating disorder, during the 3-month follow-up period. This study provides preliminary evidence that "Should I Say Something?" may be effective in improving the mental health literacy of young people.

  5. Telomerase inhibition improves tumor response to radiotherapy in a murine orthotopic model of human glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrandon, Sylvain; Malleval, Céline; El Hamdani, Badia; Battiston-Montagne, Priscillia; Bolbos, Radu; Langlois, Jean-Baptiste; Manas, Patrick; Gryaznov, Sergei M; Alphonse, Gersende; Honnorat, Jérôme; Rodriguez-Lafrasse, Claire; Poncet, Delphine

    2015-07-17

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive type of adult brain tumor. Most GBMs express telomerase; a high level of intra-tumoral telomerase activity (TA) is predictive of poor prognosis. Thus, telomerase inhibitors are promising options to treat GBM. These inhibitors increase the response to radiotherapy (RT), in vitro as well as in vivo. Since typical treatments for GBM include RT, our objective was to evaluate the efficiency of Imetelstat (TA inhibitor) combined with RT. We used a murine orthotopic model of human GBM (N = 8 to11 mice per group) and μMRI imaging to evaluate the efficacy of Imetelstat (delivered by intra-peritoneal injection) alone and combined with RT. Using a clinically established protocol, we demonstrated that Imetelstat significantly: (i) inhibited the TA in the very center of the tumor, (ii) reduced tumor volume as a proportion of TA inhibition, and (iii) increased the response to RT, in terms of tumor volume regression and survival increase. Imetelstat is currently evaluated in refractory brain tumors in young patients (without RT). Our results support its clinical evaluation combined with RT to treat GBM.

  6. Qualitative evaluation: a critical and interpretative complementary approach to improve health programs and services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tayabas, Luz María Tejada; León, Teresita Castillo; Espino, Joel Monarrez

    2014-01-01

    This short essay aims at commenting on the origin, development, rationale, and main characteristics of qualitative evaluation (QE), emphasizing the value of this methodological tool to evaluate health programs and services. During the past decades, different approaches have come to light proposing complementary alternatives to appraise the performance of public health programs, mainly focusing on the implementation process involved rather than on measuring the impact of such actions. QE is an alternative tool that can be used to illustrate and understand the process faced when executing health programs. It can also lead to useful suggestions to modify its implementation from the stakeholders' perspectives, as it uses a qualitative approach that considers participants as reflective subjects, generators of meanings. This implies that beneficiaries become involved in an active manner in the evaluated phenomena with the aim of improving the health programs or services that they receive. With this work we want to encourage evaluators in the field of public health to consider the use of QE as a complementary tool for program evaluation to be able to identify areas of opportunity to improve programs' implementation processes from the perspective of intended beneficiaries.

  7. Niacin receptor activation improves human microvascular endothelial cell angiogenic function during lipotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes-Large, Jennifer M; Pang, Dominic K T; Robson, Debra L; Chan, Pak; Toma, Jelena; Borradaile, Nica M

    2014-12-01

    Niacin (nicotinic acid) as a monotherapy can reduce vascular disease risk, but its mechanism of action remains controversial, and may not be dependent on systemic lipid modifying effects. Niacin has recently been shown to improve endothelial function and vascular regeneration, independent of correcting dyslipidemia, in rodent models of vascular injury and metabolic disease. As a potential biosynthetic precursor for NAD(+), niacin could elicit these vascular benefits through NAD(+)-dependent, sirtuin (SIRT) mediated responses. Alternatively, niacin may act through its receptor, GPR109A, to promote endothelial function, though endothelial cells are not known to express this receptor. We hypothesized that niacin directly improves endothelial cell function during exposure to lipotoxic conditions and sought to determine the potential mechanism(s) involved. Angiogenic function in excess palmitate was assessed by tube formation following treatment of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) with either a relatively low concentration of niacin (10 μM), or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) (1 μM), a direct NAD(+) precursor. Although both niacin and NMN improved HMVEC tube formation during palmitate overload, only NMN increased cellular NAD(+) and SIRT1 activity. We further observed that HMVEC express GRP109A. Activation of this receptor with either acifran or MK-1903 recapitulated niacin-induced improvements in HMVEC tube formation, while GPR109A siRNA diminished the effect of niacin. Niacin, at a low concentration, improves HMVEC angiogenic function under lipotoxic conditions, likely independent of NAD(+) biosynthesis and SIRT1 activation, but rather through niacin receptor activation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Affinity maturation to improve human monoclonal antibody neutralization potency and breadth against hepatitis C virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yong; Keck, Zhen-yong; Saha, Anasuya; Xia, Jinming; Conrad, Fraser; Lou, Jianlong; Eckart, Michael; Marks, James D; Foung, Steven K H

    2011-12-23

    A potent neutralizing antibody to a conserved hepatitis C virus (HCV) epitope might overcome its extreme variability, allowing immunotherapy. The human monoclonal antibody HC-1 recognizes a conformational epitope on the HCV E2 glycoprotein. Previous studies showed that HC-1 neutralizes most HCV genotypes but has modest potency. To improve neutralization, we affinity-matured HC-1 by constructing a library of yeast-displayed HC-1 single chain Fv (scFv) mutants, using for selection an E2 antigen from one of the poorly neutralized HCVpp. We developed an approach by parallel mutagenesis of the heavy chain variable (VH) and κ-chain variable (Vk) genes separately, then combining the optimized VH and Vk mutants. This resulted in the generation of HC-1-related scFv variants exhibiting improved affinities. The best scFv variant had a 92-fold improved affinity. After conversion to IgG1, some of the antibodies exhibited a 30-fold improvement in neutralization activity. Both surface plasmon resonance and solution kinetic exclusion analysis showed that the increase in affinity was largely due to a lowering of the dissociation rate constant, Koff. Neutralization against a panel of HCV pseudoparticles and infectious 2a HCV virus improved with the affinity-matured IgG1 antibodies. Interestingly, some of these antibodies neutralized a viral isolate that was not neutralized by wild-type HC-1. Moreover, propagating 2a HCVcc under the selective pressure of WT HC-1 or affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies yielded no viral escape mutants and, with the affinity-matured IgG1, needed 100-fold less antibody to achieve complete virus elimination. Taken together, these findings suggest that affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies are excellent candidates for therapeutic development.

  9. Recombinant human growth hormone improves cognitive capacity in a pain patient exposed to chronic opioids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodin, A; von Ehren, M; Skottheim, B; Grönbladh, A; Ortiz-Nieto, F; Raininko, R; Gordh, T; Nyberg, F

    2014-07-01

    During recent decades, the increasing use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain has raised concerns regarding tolerance, addiction, and importantly cognitive dysfunction. Current research suggests that the somatotrophic axis could play an important role in cognitive function. Administration of growth hormone (GH) to GH-deficient humans and experimental animals has been shown to result in significant improvements in cognitive capacity. In this report, a patient with cognitive disabilities resulting from chronic treatment with opioids for neuropathic pain received recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) replacement therapy. A 61-year-old man presented with severe cognitive dysfunction after long-term methadone treatment for intercostal neuralgia and was diagnosed with GH insufficiency by GH releasing hormone-arginine testing. The effect of rhGH replacement therapy on his cognitive capacity and quality of life was investigated. The hippocampal volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging, and the ratios of the major metabolites were calculated using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cognitive testing revealed significant improvements in visuospatial cognitive function after rhGH. The hippocampal volume remained unchanged. In the right hippocampus, the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio (reflecting nerve cell function) was initially low but increased significantly during rhGH treatment, as did subjective cognitive, physical and emotional functioning. This case report indicates that rhGH replacement therapy could improve cognitive behaviour and well-being, as well as hippocampal metabolism and functioning in opioid-treated patients with chronic pain. The idea that GH could affect brain function and repair disabilities induced by long-term exposure to opioid analgesia is supported. © 2014 The Authors. The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Evaluating and Improving Cloud Processes in the Multi-Scale Modeling Framework

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackerman, Thomas P. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The research performed under this grant was intended to improve the embedded cloud model in the Multi-scale Modeling Framework (MMF) for convective clouds by using a 2-moment microphysics scheme rather than the single moment scheme used in all the MMF runs to date. The technical report and associated documents describe the results of testing the cloud resolving model with fixed boundary conditions and evaluation of model results with data. The overarching conclusion is that such model evaluations are problematic because errors in the forcing fields control the results so strongly that variations in parameterization values cannot be usefully constrained

  11. Critical evaluation as an aid to improved report writing: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Mirabelle; Williams, Judith

    2014-05-01

    Report writing is an important employability skill for Engineers and Technologists, and this case study describes how a Technology degree module took a novel approach to developing students' report writing skills. Students learned how to use a criterion-referenced critical evaluation framework for reports and other technological documents. They were given opportunities to practise using the framework both through exemplars and through evaluating the work of their peers. They also carried out self-assessment. The authors' analysis of this novel approach shows that most students responded well to it and benefited from it. Lessons are drawn from this work for others who wish to improve their students' report writing skills.

  12. Human Factors Evaluation of Conflict Detection Tool for Terminal Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Savita Arora; Tang, Huabin; Ballinger, Deborah; Chinn, Fay Cherie; Kozon, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    A conflict detection and resolution tool, Terminal-area Tactical Separation-Assured Flight Environment (T-TSAFE), is being developed to improve the timeliness and accuracy of alerts and reduce the false alert rate observed with the currently deployed technology. The legacy system in use today, Conflict Alert, relies primarily on a dead reckoning algorithm, whereas T-TSAFE uses intent information to augment dead reckoning. In previous experiments, T-TSAFE was found to reduce the rate of false alerts and increase time between the alert to the controller and a loss of separation over the legacy system. In the present study, T-TSAFE was tested under two meteorological conditions, 1) all aircraft operated under instrument flight regimen, and 2) some aircraft operated under mixed operating conditions. The tool was used to visually alert controllers to predicted Losses of separation throughout the terminal airspace, and show compression errors, on final approach. The performance of T-TSAFE on final approach was compared with Automated Terminal Proximity Alert (ATPA), a tool recently deployed by the FAA. Results show that controllers did not report differences in workload or situational awareness between the T-TSAFE and ATPA cones but did prefer T-TSAFE features over ATPA functionality. T-TSAFE will provide one tool that shows alerts in the data blocks and compression errors via cones on the final approach, implementing all tactical conflict detection and alerting via one tool in TRACON airspace.

  13. On the mechanism by which dietary nitrate improves human skeletal muscle function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles eAffourtit

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Inorganic nitrate is present at high levels in beetroot and celery, and in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce. Though long believed inert, nitrate can be reduced to nitrite in the human mouth and, further, under hypoxia and/or low pH, to nitric oxide. Dietary nitrate has thus been associated favourably with nitric-oxide-regulated processes including blood flow and energy metabolism. Indeed, the therapeutic potential of dietary nitrate in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome – both ageing-related medical disorders – has attracted considerable recent research interest. We and others have shown that dietary nitrate supplementation lowers the oxygen cost of human exercise, as less respiratory activity appears to be required for a set rate of skeletal muscle work. This striking observation predicts that nitrate benefits the energy metabolism of human muscle, increasing the efficiency of either mitochondrial ATP synthesis and/or of cellular ATP-consuming processes. In this mini-review, we evaluate experimental support for the dietary nitrate effects on muscle bioenergetics and we critically discuss the likelihood of nitric oxide as the molecular mediator of such effects.

  14. An Evaluation of the Human Carcinogenic Potential of Ethylene Glycol Butyl Ether (Egbe)

    Science.gov (United States)

    This position paper, An Evaluation of the Human Carcinogenic Potential of Ethylene Glycol Butyl Ether, was developed in support of the EPA's evaluation of a petition from the American Chemistry Council requesting to delist EGBE per the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), Titl...

  15. Learning to Lead: Self- and Peer Evaluation of Team Leaders in the Human Structure Didactic Block

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Laura P.; Gregory, Jeremy K.; Camp, Christopher L.; Juskewitch, Justin E.; Pawlina, Wojciech; Lachman, Nirusha

    2009-01-01

    Increasing emphasis on leadership in medical education has created a need for developing accurate evaluations of team leaders. Our study aimed to compare the accuracy of self- and peer evaluation of student leaders in the first-year Human Structure block (integrated gross anatomy, embryology, and radiology). Forty-nine first-year medical students…

  16. Aligning Evaluation Results and Professional Development: Driving Systemic Human Capital Management Reform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrstock-Sherratt, Ellen; Jacques, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    This brief provides district and other educational leaders with research-based information on aligning professional development policies with teacher evaluations to drive more comprehensive human capital management. First, this brief describes an aligned evaluation and professional development system. Next, it discusses existing models and…

  17. The Problem of Evaluative Categorization of Human Intelligence in Linguistic World Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abisheva, Klara M.; Dossanova, Altynay Zh.; Ismakova, Bibissara S.; Aupova, Gulbagira K.; Ayapbergenov, Bulat K.; Tlegenova, Kulyan A.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the research is to determine the peculiarities of the evaluative categorization of human intelligence in linguistic world images. The study describes the interdisciplinary approach to studying evaluative categorization, which assumes the use of complex methodology including the anthropocentric, the interdisciplinary, and the cognitive…

  18. Quantitative evaluation of impedance perception characteristics of humans in the man-machine interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onish, Keiichi [Yamaha Motor Co., Shizuoka (Japan); Kim, Young Woo [Daegu Techno Park R and D Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Obinata, Goro [Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan); Hase, Kazunori [Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan)

    2013-05-15

    We investigated impedance perception characteristics of humans in the man-machine interface. Sensibility or operational feel about physical properties of machine dynamics is obtained through perception process. We evaluated the impedance perception characteristics of humans who are operating a mechanical system, based on extended Scheffe's subjective evaluation method in full consideration of the influence of impedance level, impedance difference, experiment order, individual difference and so on. Constant method based quantitative evaluation was adopted to investigate the influence of motion frequency and change of the impedance on human impedance perception characteristics. Experimental results indicate that humans perceive impedance of mechanical systems based on comparison process of the dynamical characteristics of the systems. The proposed method can be applied to quantify the design requirement of man-machine interface. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified through experimental results.

  19. Development and oversight of ethical health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities involving human participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainsbury, Peter

    2015-12-01

    This paper considers the role of ethics and ethics review processes in the development of health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities involving human participants. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and associated documents provide the framework for the ethical conduct and independent review of research (including quality assurance and evaluation) involving humans in Australia. Identifying the level of risk to which participants may be exposed by participation in quality assurance and evaluation activities is essential for health promotion workers undertaking such activities. Organisations can establish processes other than review by a Human Research Ethics Committee for negligible and low risk research activities. Health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities often involve negligible and low risk to participants. Seven triggers that indicate the need for ethics review of quality assurance and evaluation activities and a procedural checklist for developing ethical quality assurance and evaluation activities are provided. Health promotion workers should be familiar with the NHMRC's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. When ethical considerations underpin the planning and conduct of all quality assurance and evaluation from the very beginning, the activity is the better for it, independent 'ethics approval' can mostly be secured without much trouble and workers' frustration levels are reduced. So what? Health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities must be ethically justified. Health promotion workers should be familiar with the NHMRC's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and should use it when developing health promotion quality assurance and evaluation activities.

  20. Evaluative conditioning in humans: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Wilhelm; De Houwer, Jan; Perugini, Marco; Baeyens, Frank; Crombez, Geert

    2010-05-01

    This article presents a meta-analysis of research on evaluative conditioning (EC), defined as a change in the liking of a stimulus (conditioned stimulus; CS) that results from pairing that stimulus with other positive or negative stimuli (unconditioned stimulus; US). Across a total of 214 studies included in the main sample, the mean EC effect was d = .52, with a 95% confidence interval of .466-.582. As estimated from a random-effects model, about 70% of the variance in effect sizes were attributable to true systematic variation rather than sampling error. Moderator analyses were conducted to partially explain this variation, both as a function of concrete aspects of the procedural implementation and as a function of the abstract aspects of the relation between CS and US. Among a range of other findings, EC effects were stronger for high than for low contingency awareness, for supraliminal than for subliminal US presentation, for postacquisition than for postextinction effects, and for self-report than for implicit measures. These findings are discussed with regard to the procedural boundary conditions of EC and theoretical accounts about the mental processes underlying EC. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.